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Why “ClimateGate” Is Irrelevant to Business

| Sunday December 6th, 2009 | 79 Comments

man-bear-pigIn case you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve no doubt been aware of a fiasco which emerged in the last few weeks from the University of East Anglia in the UK concerning unprofessional bickering between climate scientists exposed by an apparent email hacker. The FOXNews crowd is calling it proof that climate change (at least the human induced kind) is a hoax perpetrated by a grand conspiracy among corrupt scientists bent on installing a global uber-government and so on and so forth… It’s therefore not the least bit coincidental that the conspiracy has emerged immediately before the COP15 talks in Copenhagen.

First things first, some of this is a really big screw up, and some of these scientists should be disciplined or fired (as well as whoever was behind the illegal hacking). But at the end of the day, the controversy only proves that some scientists, like some people, can be petty chumps who bicker and cheat. Not cool, but hardly proof that global warming is a hoax. And more importantly, hardly an argument against reducing our burning of fossil fuels and many of the other sustainability efforts 3p argues for. “ClimateGate” is 95% engineered distraction by an unfortunate part of the business community who prefer kicking and screaming to evolution.

So let me get to the point… COP15 has just begun. Although a large scale international climate treaty looks unlikely, the decisions and conversations to be made in Copenhagen this week and next will only add to the crescendo of voices calling for all manner of positive changes to be made with regards to the environmental and social consequences of the status quo. This is totally regardless to any controversy that East Anglia’s ill thought-out emails might produce.

Such conversations are ushering in a new wave of innovation, business opportunities, and a healthier, more sustainable world. Why? Mainly because any deal on climate change will also make it easier to bring on new technologies for energy production, incentives for efficiency, resource conservation, and hopefully some semblance of worldwide sustainable economic development. It’ll also more firmly establish in the global consciousness the idea of sustainability as common sense. All of these things, whether they involve regulation, international governmental cooperation, sheer inspiration, or popular demand, represent huge business opportunities for entrepreneurs who ‘get it.’ All of it is good for people and good for thoughtful, prepared businesses whether or not ‘climategate’ has any teeth. It’s even relevant if the entirety of climate change is a hoax.

Climategate is likely to be forgotten as soon as COP15 is over. Let’s make sure it’s countered with some common sense in the meantime.

Ed Note: Follow up coming. Please leave comments, but don’t be un-civil. If you’re here trying to prove that climate change is a myth, please read Kevin Drum’s excellent post here first.


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  • Derek Flint

    30000 scientists are taking Al Gore to court over anthropological global warming. Al has established environmental companies to receive government grants to the tune of half a billion dollars. Hollywood has asked for his Oscar back.

    Many scientists believe global warming is not occurring or has ceased, other scientists believe accuracy of IPCC climate projections is questionable, still others believe global warming is primarily caused by natural processes, more believe cause of global warming is unknown, some believe global warming will not be significantly negative and will even be beneficial.

    The AGW consensus scientists obviously have ulterior motives.
    This is a fraudulent affair that is as bad as weapons of mass destruction.

  • Derek Flint

    30000 scientists are taking Al Gore to court over anthropological global warming. Al has established environmental companies to receive government grants to the tune of half a billion dollars. Hollywood has asked for his Oscar back.

    Many scientists believe global warming is not occurring or has ceased, other scientists believe accuracy of IPCC climate projections is questionable, still others believe global warming is primarily caused by natural processes, more believe cause of global warming is unknown, some believe global warming will not be significantly negative and will even be beneficial.

    The AGW consensus scientists obviously have ulterior motives.
    This is a fraudulent affair that is as bad as weapons of mass destruction.

    • Tony T.

      It's encouraging to see that not everyone who disagrees with Nick's article feels the need to do so anonymously and with venom. Thanks for keeping it civil, Derek. A debate on the issue is healthy, and necessary, but for the folks who are making their arguments with insults and suicide suggestions, they're hurting their arguments more than helping them.

      I need to point out, though, that 30,000 scientists are not taking Al Gore to court; rather, John Coleman, a weather anchor and businessperson, “… claims that he has 30,000 backers in the form of those who signed the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine petition on global warming, but the National Academy of Sciences called that petition “misleading” and “not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science.”” Hollywood has not, in fact, asked for Gore's Oscar back (neither has the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who gave it to him).
      - http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=John

      It's true that “many” scientists believe global warming is not occurring or has ceased, or doubt the accuracy of IPCC projects. That's a pretty broad range of opinion, however; “many” scientists doubt the IPCC report but think it underestimates the effects of rising CO2 levels. And it's also true that a majority of established scientific organizations support the last IPCC report, including the national science academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK, the US, Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, as well as institutes like NASA's Goddard Institute, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the American Meteorological Society (and I'll give that last one more credence than John Coleman). All of those groups believe that rising CO2 levels will cause severe changes to our climate with harmful effects for many people.

      I don't see the logic in, or any support for, the statement that AGW consensus scientists have ulterior motives. I could make the same statement about AGW deniers, but such a broad statement can't be proven. I think some deniers (e.g. oil companies, who tried to bribe scientists into publicly denying climate change arguments) do have ulterior motives. I think other people are suspicious of anything that sounds bad and potentially threatens the lifestyle they're used to. All the more reason to get out in front of the problem, though. Thanks for reading my response.

  • Damian

    Those that blindly follow the global warming cult are being lead like sheep. Look around. There is little evidence of the world getting hotter. There is proof, however, that the data in support of global warming has been falsified. The (Inconvenient) truth is that you have been lied to.

  • Dave McK

    A few trillion dollars of co2 derivatives will be a new wave of innovation, business opportunities, and a bubble of new confederate currency like the world never imagined. That's not sustainable, friend.

  • Dave McK

    Let me tell you the simplest equation for calculating standard of living: you use wealth of a population ans the numerator and the number of individuals as the denominator. The relationship is wealth per capita.
    There are only 2 ways possible to improve the standard of living, friend.
    One is to increase the numerator- to increase the wealth. (Everything you propose reduces that.)
    And that leaves only one possible way for you to implement your ideal, friend – you must reduce the population.
    Now, historically, populations resist having assholes impose this sort of final solution on them.
    Do you know that there are people alive who remember hearing the same words you now utter back in the 30's?
    Did you know Copenhagen ran out of local limousines for the fearless leaders who flew in on private jets to tell you to stop eating meat? The Copenhagen airport is too small, also, so they have to fly to another one to park and come back to pick up their passenger.
    Gore et alium isn't really technically minded enough to manage a teleconference.
    Besides – when the IPCC reveals that CO2 causes sunspots- he wants to be there for the confetti!
    Fnord.

    • nickaster

      How does anything I propose reduce wealth? I believe it's quite the opposite, friend

  • Nathan

    I have two comments:
    1) First, I would love to see you (Nick) discuss some of the details of what is falsified and what isn't and ho each support (or not) your conclusion that it doesn't significantly alter the conversation. Mostly, I ask this since I don't have the time myself to delve into the details (that's what I rely on you do to ; )
    2) Second, I have continuously surprised at the WILLFUL ignorance displayed by these “opponents” of global warming. Take the comments already here, preceding mine. Global warming is a poor name as the effects of climate change include both warming (in many regions) and cooling (in others). In addition, the Net warming that is occurring is mostly happening in the oceans, not the atmosphere. This is incredibly significant (and ominous) and easy for people to miss. Next, those screaming about how ClimateGate “proves” that there is no such thing as “global warming” are hypocrites in that they don't trust the evidence they think is manufactured (ignoring the vast amount that isn't) yet they're quick to support the perspective that ClimateGate unmasks a massive, global, scientific conspiracy without evidence to support this (these few emails don't discredit the massive amount of evidence, both scientific and anecdotal pointing to significant climate change). Either believe in science or evidence or not but don't pick and choose when you feel like it.

  • Phil

    Dear Nick – “RRRRRIIIIIINNNNNGGGGG!!!!” This is an alarm call for you to wake up before you look dumber than a non warming rock. Take your time, look into the evidence, and when you know what you are talking about, come back and appologise. The Global Warming Scam is totally dead. The data is gone, the code is useless, the databases are crap, the fudge factors abound, peer review has been poisoned, they are making big $$$$ to spin lies. One last time – WAKE UP !!!! climategate is REAL!

    • Tony T.

      Phil: There is no factual evidence for any of your claims. Sources please.

  • Steve Pierson

    Goodness gracious me. Nick, you need someone to show up, call you “friend” and actually mean it. Please allow me to oblige.

    In truth, this is the most palpably optimistic essay I've read in some time. Will it be warranted? We'll see. The forces of obfuscation are out in force, and have even found my colleague Nick. But we (now) know that this is not a business for the faint of heart. On the bright side, the rest of the world is increasingly on board for the constructive measures that can be taken to help secure a prosperous future for our children and grandchildren. And at least at the top, we've got a leadership in the United States who comprehend what's actually important in the long term. The delirium gripping the land of Chief Seattle and George Washington will eventually pass, and hopefully before irreparable harm is done. Meanwhile, GO COPENHAGEN, and our good allies in attendance!

  • Nick Aster is a joke

    To: Nick Aster

    People have been screaming that this was a HOAX for years and it took leaked emails to finally expose it.
    Trying to blame FOX news for this is a desperate impotent joke on your part. The fact is you are the equivalent of the Catholic church vs Galileo. The only REAL science points to solar cycles manipulating the climate. For any REAL journalist ( unlike you ) it would only take 1-2 hours to research and confirm it.

    You are part of a HOAX that is nothing more than a decpetion and a power grab.
    Remember this fake journalists name folks, lets make sure his career is over…..

    • Narwall 45

      Joke – on the contrary, ClimateGate is a joke. Read the Kevin Drum piece linked to above. You are obviously not a scientist. Find me a real journalist who doesn't understand Drum's points. The only media who claim global waming is a hoax are trash like FoxNews and other right wing anger-sites. Your anger gives you away, you are small, uneducated, and have probably never been outside the US.

  • Nick Aster is a joke

    Nice advertisements Nick, I can't see your motivation for posting such divisive garbage…..

    • nickaster

      Nice comment. What am I advertising and what's divisive about it?

  • steve pierson

    I watch the tinfoil hat sites regularly. (It's a weakness, I know.) I saw them leap on the “ARRRRRRRGH” email thread and call it a smoking gun about a week ago. At the time, I (ironically) was in the middle of trying to resurrect an old database application from back in the 1980's. Everything about the database I was working on is NOT the way you'd design it today, and it was full of decades of ambiguities and near-duplications. I read the frustrated emails from what must have been grad students struggling to import decades of grungy old automated data, and I thought how these conspiracy theorists have NO comprehension of what it's like to wrestle a crusty old dataset into a usable form. Ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and I would implore those inclined to swallow what they're told about these stolen emails to reserve at least a tiny bit of their prodigious and bitter skepticism for application against their own “trusted” sources.

  • Jonathan Mariano

    In terms of the veracity of Global Warming, there are three options:
    A) Global Warming is real and caused by humans.
    B) Global Warming is real and not caused by humans.
    C) Global Warming is not real.

    It is interesting to note that naysayers of AGW will bounce back and forth between B and C, whereas the data provided by climate science suggests either A or B, with strong data to support A.

    Furthermore, it is important to note the thoughts of the anti anthroprogenic global warming (whether be B or C) “stakeholders”, in terms of climate science and climate action. From one POV, climate action of imposing legislation to thwart the affects of climate change is driving folks on the other side of the aisle to find any nook and cranny to disprove climate science rather than truly attempt to understand it.

    • Damian

      The data shows that global temperatures have dropped over the past decade. There goes all theories out the window. Why is it still being discussed? Because Global Warming is a cult. And in a cult, one never questions The Leader. Now be a good boy and drink your Coolade.

      • Abbot

        It's spelled “Koolaid”. You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. What data showed that? Even if things did cool for ten years, how do explain the general trend? Do you really believe there are no consequences to burning fossil fuels at the rate we burn them? What is your IQ? Seriously, the idiots who have been attracted to this post are blowing my mind. I don't know whether to pity or scorn, but I do think FOXNews carries a lot of the blame…

        • damian

          You are a sheep, blindly following a trend. But it's not your fault. You have been lied to by politicians, again, and obviously you're not bright enough to work out the truth on your own. You probably believed in WMDs, Y2K and Swine Flu wiping us all out as well. What about Santa Claus, God, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?

          And blaming it all on Fox News? You really are a git.

  • Nick Aster is a joke

    Jonathan Mariano:

    It has gotten colder for years. The propagandists just ignored it.
    It is based on sun cycles, just find the charts and look at it.

    Polar bears are not dying, they are exploding.
    Artic ice is expanding, not shrinking.

    The Global Warmist propagandist clowns are trying to reduce the debate to “tin foil hat conspiracy theorists”?

    Wow you guys are desperate. Lets see how that contention plays out in court when we sue you under the RICO act for triple damages.

  • Nick Aster is a joke

    steve pierson: ( you joke )

    “Media Ignore Al Gore’s Financial Ties to Global Warming”

    http://newsbusters.org/node/11149

    Anthropogenic (man-made) global warming bites the dust, declared astronomer Dr. Ian Wilson after reviewing the new study which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Geophysical Research. The study entitled Heat Capacity, Time Constant, and Sensitivity of Earths Climate System, was authored by Brookhaven National Lab scientist Stephen Schwartz.”

    http://www.tinyurl.com/2udet9

    “Another Dissenter: U.S. Naval Academy Chemist slams climate fears as `imaginary boogeyman”

    Peer reviewed government scientist, Dr. Mark Campbell, joins the growing rank of “dissenting” scientists and calls climate fears 'imaginary boogeyman', then goes on to accuse the media of 'journalistic malpractice'.

    http://www.globalwarminghoax.com/comment.php?co

    This website is a propagandist joke.

  • Fred

    Nick, why don't you hang yourself?…you clearly have nothing to offer.

    • BBosch

      This is incredibly disrespectful, Fred. You should be ashamed.

      Nick posted a hopeful article of opinion on a subject of debate. You offer nothing.

  • nickaster

    Wow… this is amazing. I'll comment in the morning, but the level of discourse here is lower than I've ever seen it. Rather sad really, but let's press on…

    • Jon G

      The thing that gets me is that the deniers on here are not citing any references or links to established experts, studies, or other credible sources.

      We can point to the national academies of sciences of the G8 + 5 nations, literally the best of the best scientists in the world — a veritable all-star team: http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/G8+5e

      It blows my mind that the deniers think so many scientists could ever get their acts together to execute the type of cover up they're alleging. Hell, it's hard enough for the governing boards of most major scientific societies to agree how to word each sentence of each statement they release!

      What I see here is akin to normal people — excited about the Green Economy's promise of a better life and better businesses — trying to hold a civil debate with the zealots who held the Salem Witch trials!

      • nickaster

        Yeah, it's nuts. I really wasn't even trying to start a debate on whether climate change was real or not, just that most legislation and efforts that would address it are also good for the new economy.

    • Jon G

      The thing that gets me is that the deniers on here are not citing any references or links to established experts, studies, or other credible sources.

      We can point to the national academies of sciences of the G8 + 5 nations, literally the best of the best scientists in the world — a veritable all-star team: http://www.nationalacademies.org/includes/G8+5e

      It blows my mind that the deniers think so many scientists could ever get their acts together to execute the type of cover up they're alleging. Hell, it's hard enough for the governing boards of most major scientific societies to agree how to word each sentence of each statement they release!

      What I see here is akin to normal people — excited about the Green Economy's promise of a better life and better businesses — trying to hold a civil debate with the zealots who held the Salem Witch trials!

  • http://ecopolitology.org/ Tim H.

    What the hell happened in here?

  • Jonathan Mariano

    Is A Joke:

    I am aware of the sun cycle correlation, hence the choice between the veracity between A&B. Yes, data suggests global warming/climate change in the past several decades, the question is whether or not it is anthropogenic or not.

  • Jonathan Mariano

    Is A Joke:

    I have a thought experiment for you, if you would indulge. Obviously you do not find veracity in AGW. But assume AGW was real. What would be the solution to solving AGW?

  • big al

    Climategate is critical to business! Consider the taxes that will result from this that will be passed on to the consumer, don't you think that loss of income will reduce commerce? How about the restrictions against “carbon footprints” – small businesses cannot afford to be taxed and restricted into oblivion. Cap and Trade along with its brother, national healthcare basically replace the free enterprise system with a government controlled mega system in which every aspect of life will be controlled by politicians. Wake up pal – stop being a democrat and use your head.

    • nickaster

      Taxes might happen, and I agree that's a debatable position. That may or may not be a problem for business. What I really want to see are the elimination of subsidies for oil & gas and if we must have subsidies, put them in places where it does some good – like efficiency, solar, wind, etc…. you will quickly see an economic shift rewarding companies who do the right thing and creating LOTS of jobs.

  • john

    Cap and trade tax or carbon tax or whatever you call it is just wrong. Taxing the people because of a junk science is just junk.

    • Jonathan Mariano

      I would argue that taxing people from a federal mandate is junk, but that may be for another thread. Taxing in general just creates more bureaucracy, but does not actually strike the root cause. In the case of AGW/CC stopping federal subsidies would be a first step.

      • lauriesanford

        OK, all you no tax folks, let me see you out there putting out your own house fires, building your own roads and breaking up your own burglaries. You're kidding right?
        This is the way we arrive at a viable future, interdependantly. The US will benefit if we are part of the solution, we will lose if we sit on the sidelines.
        We've been here before. Afraid. Afraid. Afraid. We won't get diverted this time, tho.

        • Jonathan Mariano

          Firehouses are paid by local taxes. Most roads are run by the city or the state, not the Federal Government, with the exception of the Interstate. If you notice, I am making a Constitutional argument. Each level of government is designating certain powers and taxing powers. The Federal Government does not have the Constitutional ability to tax (except, unfortunately under the 16th Amendment, to tax income).

          Understanding the laws of the land can go a long way in understanding what entity can legally tax who or what.

        • lauriesanford

          Sorry Jonathan I didn't notice that you were making a constitutional
          argument, since it wasn't stated.
          Perhaps you meant it to be embedded in your remarks.
          Now that you have clarified that that is what you intend, I would respond
          that I don't think making an argument that states what level of
          government has what powers and includes two “excepts” is a very strong
          argument. “except interstate highways”, “except income taxes”.
          I see tho that you concern is not really the viability of the data related
          to global warming, but rather you are opposed to taxing carbon emissions
          from businesses.Well good luck with that.
          Luckily, from my point of view, there are lots of controls on businesses as
          well as individuals and other units of organization. My belief is that this
          is, an important factor, in creating a civilized world. Checks and balances
          of freedom and responsibilities.These of course, get negotiated through the
          political process which we are all obligated to participate in. From my
          point of view, a little bit more control preventing the ability to bundle
          and trade parts of mortgages would have helped to prevent the current
          economic crisis. however, I believe in the system and those excesses will
          be/are being remedied and, in my opinion, if and when government oversteps
          it's bounds, I will be in favor of ratcheting that back also. Cap and Trade
          doesn't do that from my point of view. Torture does, but that's another
          subject.

        • lauriesanford

          Disqus this is what i have been waiting for all this time dont wait around before its too late http://t.co/MXEICUmx

        • Jonathan Mariano

          Excellent. Just to clarify, the exception are inherent in the laws of the land, ie the Constitution. If these exceptions, which are documented in the Constitution, are “not strong arguments”, would it not follow that taxing carbon is not a strong argument as well? If a Constitutional argument is not a strong arguement, how strong is an argument of invoking a carbon tax law? Next to nil.

          Following your tangent, it is not more regulation that would have alleviated the economic crisis, but less regulation, but again this is for another thread.

  • robertg222

    Here’s a sample of the code. The programmer has written in helpful notes that us non-programmers can understand, like this one: “Apply a very artificial correction for decline”. You get the feeling this climate programmer didn’t like pushing the data around so blatantly. Note the technical comment: “fudge factor”.

    ; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
    ;
    yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
    valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
    2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
    if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,’Oooops!’

    The numbers in a row, in the [ ] brackets, are the numbers the data are to be altered by. If there were no adjustments, they’d all be zero. It’s obvious there is no attempt to treat all the data equally, or use a rigorous method to make adjustments. What could their reasons be? Hide the decline

    For years the global warming crowd have been following the guidance of Joseph Goebbels-
    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
    Now that climategate has exposed the scam for all to see, the warmers should start following the guidance of Abraham Lincoln-
    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

    • nickaster

      Yes, that code is all perfectly clear. You are totally out of your mind to try to bring Nazis into this conversation, especially on the side of climate change denial, I mean REALLY out of your mind. I would moderate your post away, but I'll leave it as an example for others….

  • mike smith

    Hey Nick,
    How does the sand look to you? Perhaps you might actually want to take your head out of it long enough to read through the computer code that the CRU used to purposely misinterpret the data they collected so it would fit a particular agenda.
    You pass this off as “hardly important” which makes me wonder if you investigated anything beyond a headline or three. Certainly you haven't read much else.

    And the larger question is why aren't you happy there is a good chance the world may not be headed for certain doom and the oceans may not rise to cover Cuba? I though the whole idea was to save the planet, and now maybe the planet is really okay.

    • BBosch

      Mike, merely because a few scientists were false in their projections of climate change doesn't mean “everything is ok.” That means those two guys were liars. The problems still exist.

      The species that are living on this planet are dying at over 1000 times the historical rate. Our planet will be fine. We are fighting to ensure that the species living on this planet (including us) get to continue doing so.

      Read the post from JoshGelf please.

      • damian

        The “few scientists” as you put it, are the basis of the Global Warming theory. They started the whole thing, so their lies mean the whole thing is lies.

  • Dean

    Getting back to the subject – business – transformation away from non-renewable technologies is already driving growth & creating jobs. Green energy investment has surged 4-fold since 2004, in spite of the global recession. The majority of new energy investment is now in renewables. Details here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/09

    And we all – including future generations – benefit from a cleaner environment.

    Let's be practical. Whatever your opinion is regarding the whys and wherefores of climate change, working towards adoption of better energy efficiency and encouraging policy supporting the new renewable energy economy has nothing but upsides.

    What does advocating for the status quo offer? Dependency on foreign oil. Even the oil industry acknowledges we cannot drill our way out. Sarah Palin is misinformed. Saudi Arabia keeps its oil reserve estimates secret – just watch what will happen to our energy bills if they begin cutting back again. And shale oils are vastly more expensive to utilize – there's no relief for your energy bill there.

    What is the downside to renewable energy and a cleaner environment? I don’t see it.

    • Jonathan Mariano

      IMHO, the only downside is not necessarily the potential or ideal outcome, but the process to get there. “Encouraging” “policy” has the downside of decisions being made from the top down, rather than from the bottom up.

  • Denbo

    Dear Nick,

    It is hard for anyone to see how the AGW crowd TRULY BELIEVES in their own dire predictions. Think about it… if Al Gore really believedin AGW would he be flying to places like Bali to give speeches on the matter? No, of course not. He could use the Internet to give conferences and speeches and simply stay home, right? After all, he is a father of the Internet so WHY NOT USE IT!

    Oh and before you use the typical line Al Gore isn't a scientist don't bother. He has been awarded a doctorate in climate science from the U of Michigan. And read the RealClimate website that praises over and over Al Gore's movie as being 'scientifically accurate'.

    And all these actors and scientists flying around for IPCC meetings is ridiculous. Why not use technology to meet in cyberspace. If kids can do it playing MMORPG like World of Warcraft why can't scientists and politicians do it to “save the planet”.

    And let's face facts, the climate computer models that the Kyoto protocol were based on do not match what we have seen for the past decade. Remember… the NOAA definition of 'climate' is a 30 year average so don't pull the old “it's only 10 years”. Also remember that the hockey stick graph that 'proves' the current warming were based on temp values from the 80's to 2000. That is ONLY 20 YEARS.

    It is difficult for me and many others to listen to the climate scientists when we all see them spewing more CO2 just going to their IPCC meeting than we do for a whole year.

    • BBosch

      Each person living in a developed country has a very large impact on our planet. Most Americans fly 3-5 times a year. Al Gore flying to Europe for a conference is no different than me flying to see my parents for Christmas. Neither are good for the planet and the carbon emissions should be offset. As his and mine are. (Granted this is not a solution, it's a temporary band-aid – but solutions are what we should be searching for)

      We need to be cognizant of our impacts and work to create ways to make our impacts neutral and humanity's existence sustainable.

      But let me ask you, if you don't believe the IPCC and the University of Michigan (2 entirely separate and highly regarded scientific bodies) then who do you believe?

    • nickaster

      It's okay to question whether or not climate change is going to be as severe as some doomsayers say it is. I actually agree with you that the carbon footprint of an event like COP15 makes it an easy target for those looking to call hypocrisy on people, and there may indeed be hypocrites out there, but I don't think any of it negates the need for the conversation…

      • damian

        I seriously doubt that the “conversation” at Copenhagen will allow any dissenting views. Those attending already are “true believers” in the cult of global warming. They are preaching to the choir.

        The main problem with GW is that there was never any fair and balanced debate. Any arguments against is were branded heresy. It's the Spanish Inquisition all over again.

        • nickaster

          Sure, and thanks for a civil comment. I disagree, however. “GW” has been debated for decades very civilly. I remember reading seriously about it in the early 80s with many counter arguments. There is debate as to exactly how severe climate change might be – and also if it necessarily means “warming” everywhere or many other things. Is it actually doomsday as some argue? Probably not, but there are myriad reasons to take it seriously – and the point of my post is that taking it seriously opens the door to innovation, entrepreneurial opportunities and massive job growth, especially in the renewable energy sector. Action on the environment is about a lot more than CO2.

          As for the supposed hoax. I'm sorry, but I really don't think 'climategate' is anything close to the conspiracy that some are arguing it is. I agree that there were some shenanigans going on which are worth investigating, and we should pursue that, but based on a hell of a lot of time reading and talking about this, I find it preposterous that people think there's a conspiracy of scientists trying to spread mis-information. The only conspiracy is coming from some elements of the fossil fuel cadre who have been misleading people for decades on this issue – if you want to debate that just think about the money involved!

          I don't like character assassinations as evidence, but when James Inhofe is the primary man in the Senate advocating for this investigation, you have to reconsider it: The man doesn't even believe in evolution. That puts him in no position to discuss anything scientific, period, and should make one wonder a little about the intelligence of the “it's all a hoax crowd”.

        • Tony T.

          I only wish those attending included only who understood the threat of climate change. Unfortunately, the oil and coal lobbyists, as well as delegations like the Saudis, who refuse to recognize it.

          There has actually been a considerable amount of debate going on for the last thirty years, Damian. That's how we got to where we are now: a majority consensus that believes there is a link between rising CO2 levels and dangerous (to us) changes in climate.

          If you can point to evidence in favor of your point of view, let's have it. So far, all you have done is make statements with no evidence. Saying something over and over again doesn't make it true. But if you can back up what you say, and you're interested in a real debate, hang around and have one. No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

          On the other hand, if you're just interested in flaming posts you don't agree with, that's up to you, but I suspect people will stop bothering to read you.

  • JoshGelf

    Here is an analogy for the deniers:

    Imagine you are standing at the corner of a busy intersection with a small child. Suddenly the child starts to run into the street. What do you do?

    Obviously (I would hope) you would grab that child as quick as you can and pull her back to the curb. You don't wait for her to run out, then check to see if traffic is coming before reacting. The fact is, if there is no traffic, then the child won't get hurt, but if there are cars coming, then the unthinkable will occur. You pull that child back regardless of weather there are cars right there because the time you take to deliberate the traffic situation could be the difference.

    The point is, the climate crisis is in the same position. We could either react to the massive amount of evidence supporting climate change and reinvent our economies and our lives to be more reliant on clean, domestic and unending sources of energy regardless of the impact on the climate, OR we can keep waiting for things to get worse beyond repair. The risk of doing SOMETHING now is barely a speck compared to the risk of doing nothing and arguing over weather we're warming, cooling or anything else.

    It will cost 1% of global GDP to reinvent our energy system. It will cost much more than that to do nothing. I implore you to stop thinking about the next quarterly returns on your Exxon stock and start thinking about the long-term ramifications of ignoring the crisis.

    And I implore supporters of change to stop using the misnomer “global warming” in this discussion. That is a misleading term that ignores the massive pendulum swings of climate change. It's not just about warming – it's about drought, floods, increased hurricane and typhoon strength, and many more yet-to-be-known cataclysmic events and trends.

    I would rather be an optimist than a nihilist. It's worth trying.

    • damian

      The child running into the traffic is a clear and present danger. The cars are real, the child is real, everybody agrees on the dangers posed. GW is a fraud and all the analogies in the world will not make it real.

      • BBosch

        Damian,
        1) Species on this planet are dying at 100-1000x's the rate of the historical average.
        2) The 2000's were the hottest decade ever.
        3) 97% of scientists believe humans to be the cause of these issues.

        If you don't believe a broad survey of scientists then who do you believe?

        If species are dying so fast, why aren't you worried about our own?

        And what do you gain by supporting the notion that climate change is falsified? Is our economic system treating you so well that you must defend the status quo of business?

        Things can be improved and things will, with or without you: http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/ep

        respectively
        1) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6502368/
        2) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091207/ap_on_re_us
        3) http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/19/ec

        • damian

          What authority are you citing for your stats? Hopefully not the falsified data from the IPCC scientists.

          Which species are disappearing because of “global warming” and which are disappearing because of more mundae things, like Darwinian evolution?

          The temperature peaked in the late 90's and is now in decline, proving that temperatures are cyclical.

          I don't believe the scientists that have since been proven to have lied about the whole thing. There are many other's that disagree with GW, but they seem to get fired for disagreeing.

          The worying thing about the global warming theory was that there was never any chance for a balanced debate. Anyone that disagreed was called a denier, or a puppet of the oil industry. And when their is bona fide evidence that it is wrong, that gets ignored, as well. And now I'm expected to pay more taxes to combat something that doesn't exist?

          The worst part is the number of believers that blame mankind, but still drive cars and use electricity that is made by coal powered generators. If we are to blame for global warming, then why do the believers contribute to it? Hypocrites! Happy to jump onboard a trendy cause, but not so happy to sacrifice their lifestyle to actually do anything about it.

      • nickaster

        Actually Damian, you're demonstrating exactly the reasoning that many argue has gotten us into this problem. Our brains are excellent at reacting to clear and present dangers, but abstract problems perhaps generations away are too hard for us to fathom so we do nothing. I'm not going to argue about the severity of the potential climate change we face because I think there could be a whole range from little to serious, but rather I argue that the things we do to combat it will ultimately benefit us in many ways beyond CO2 reduction…

  • Dean

    “…and some of these scientists should be disciplined or fired…”

    I strongly agree with this point. There is evidence they destroyed certain data (including emails) after getting a Freedom of Information Act (UK) request. If the govt subpoenaed emails from a company, and people in that company responded by dumping data, they would be in prison.

    “…as well as whoever was behind the illegal hacking…”

    I think you are trying to sound evenhanded here, but you betray your bias with this comment. Would you be calling for an “illegal hacker” to be disciplined if they had uncovered some grand conspiracy among polluters to

    In any event, it's extremely unlikely this came from a “hacker”. Too much data, too disparate (source code, raw data, emails), unlikely to be stored in one place. This was not a hacker, it was an inside job – a whistleblower.

    Mann et al are bad for the environment, bad for science, bad for the earth. That is the unequivocal stance Triple Pundit should take on this affair.

  • Dean

    “…and some of these scientists should be disciplined or fired…”

    I strongly agree with this point. There is evidence they destroyed certain data (including emails) after getting a Freedom of Information Act (UK) request. If the govt subpoenaed emails from a company, and people in that company responded by dumping data, they would be in prison.

    “…as well as whoever was behind the illegal hacking…”

    I think you are trying to sound evenhanded here, but you betray your bias with this comment. Would you be calling for an “illegal hacker” to be disciplined if they had uncovered some grand conspiracy among polluters to

    In any event, it's extremely unlikely this came from a “hacker”. Too much data, too disparate (source code, raw data, emails), unlikely to be stored in one place. This was not a hacker, it was an inside job – a whistleblower.

    Mann et al are bad for the environment, bad for science, bad for the earth. That is the unequivocal stance Triple Pundit should take on this affair.

    • nickaster

      Fair point. Next time there's a hacker outing oil & gas interests I'll call for prosecution and you can hold me to it. You're right though, it's most likely someone from inside, and again, fair enough, if there were shenanigans going on, especially the issue about the freedom of information act requests, then that's a really big screw up.

  • Diogenes60025

    Typical ad-hominem name-calling by liberal-arts slackers.
    Global warming alarmism is just the latest version of public-policy as fashion goods.
    “It gives me a warm fuzzy, so it must be valid.”
    “Hollywood freaks support it, so I should, too.”
    This is the “American Idol” form of scientific inquiry.
    The science never was “settled”, and now it is obviously “bogus”.
    It's all about money and the police power of the state.

    • nickaster

      Who exactly are you criticizing here?

  • JoshGelf
  • Diogenes60025

    Anybody and everybody who says, or believes, “the science is settled”;
    anybody and everybody who thinks, “why not, if it makes the air cleaner”;
    anyone who trusts scientists to be objective, or politicians to not act selfishly,
    anyone who thinks celebrities know their ass from a hole-in-the-ground,

    • nickaster

      Diogenes – what does that have to do with the conversation at hand?

  • lauriesanford

    Wow! I'm stunned at the vitriolic comments. This sideline issue is a tempest in a teapot. Nick is right. There are crims and jerks and self-centered liars in every field. BUT'/AND We have needed changes in sustainability/in viewing our resources as not limitless, and in viewing our world as a globe and not just as our front porches, for at least the 40 years that I know of. It's going to happen, it is happening. To quote an oldie but goodie, if you can't be a part of the change, get out of the way.

  • http://www.completesociety.org/ Ted Ko

    Nick,
    When you write your follow up to this, I'd recommend adopting a policy of deleting the un-civil, off-topic and outright stupid comments as well as permanently banning the likes of Damian, Phil, Diogenes60025, etc.

    Before anyone flames me for censorship or suppressing conflicting opinions, the point is not to suppress a useful debate or points of view we don't like.

    The point is to hold people to a high standard of discourse if they want their voice heard here.

    DaveMcK, “is a joke”, robertg222, etc, I'm talking to you. If you want someone to listen to you, show up like an intelligent adult. If you can't do that then go somewhere else. 3P won't deny your right to an opinion or whatever your personal rant is, but there's no reason it has to let you spew your garbage here.

    1) Discuss the topic. This article is not the place to pick a fight about whether climate change is real. In fact, the whole point of the article was that it doesn't matter whether climate change is real. Go pick a fight where that's being debated.

    2) Do your homework. Back up your claims with credible references or identify your own credentials to show you're qualified to make the claims. And don't cite sources that are easily debunked. A quick web search debunks the 30,000 scientists claim, the Naval Academy guy, Campbell, and any claims that the earth is on a long-term cooling trend. Making these claims and citing those sources shows that you're parroting disinformation without making sure you can back yourself up.

    3) Talk like an adult and a guest. Think for a second whether what you're saying would get you kicked out of a dinner party.

    So, Nick, if these people can't do these things, kick them out of this house. We can't deny them their opinions but we also don't need to give a platform to spew or a seat at the grown-ups table.

    • damian

      So what you're saying is: ban anyone that disagrees with you. You are the type of dick that gloms onto a cause and refuses to even entertain dissent. Well this aint your dictatorship. The unsilent majority will be heard.

      As for your so-called facts…you neglect to mention that all the data that global warming is based on has been exposed as lies. There's your inconvenient truth right there.

      • nickaster

        Thanks Ted.

        Damian, you're reacting to a well written request for civil discourse with more name calling. That makes you look like an idiot. You also didn't even read the post – this isn't a debate about whether global warming is real or not. Please take that somewhere else. You don't know Ted and you haven't read anything beyond a quick reply by him? You're projecting a very childish and superficial level of understanding.

        I agree that uncivil childish replies should be deleted, but I strongly oppose censorship. I would rather rely on the community to flag responses that are uncivil and I'll consider it from there. Incidentally, I did delete one comment from this thread asking me to 'hang myself'. Lovely prose, but I couldn't let that one stand.

        • damian

          If I had used offensive language, or called for someone to commit self-harm, then I'd agree that would be grounds for deleting a comment. But how is it that comments are only ever deleted when they disagree with the opinion of the host? That's censorship, and also bad for business.

      • http://www.completesociety.org/ Ted Ko

        This reply from Damian just made my day. It's almost as if he was deliberately trying to prove my point by doing everything that makes a comment worth deleting:

        1) Commenting without reading the post. I say *twice* that I'm not for banning people who disagree
        2) Grinding your own ax that's off topic. This isn't the place to talk about whether AGW is a myth and nothing in my post was taking a position in that debate.
        3) Name calling. Demonstrating immaturity by not realizing that name calling gets you *less* attention and *less* respect for your pov.

        This is a great example of a comment worth deleting but let's keep it here so I can refer to it in future writings on garbage in the blogosphere.

        • damian

          Once again, you are trying to divert attention from the fact that you are wrong. You say you are not calling for people to be banned, but then, in the next breath, named specific people whose comments should be deleted. Not only are you wrong, but you are getting pissy about it.

          The topic has shifted. If you have spent much time in the company of others, you'd be aware that conversations tend to do that. It's called dialog.

          As for your comments about name calling, you are again trying to divert attention from you own failing arguments by focusing on a trivial matter. Pretending to be offended by my calling you a dick is, in itself, dickish.

          Feel free to refer to my comments in your future endeavours. They will help other readers in reaching the conclusuion that you are a dick.

  • http://www.completesociety.org/ Ted Ko

    Now back to the main point of the article –

    Whether you see “Climategate” as relevant to your business depends on your views on the changes happening under the umbrella of sustainability.

    If you see the market force (regulatory, customer demand, etc) changes as damaging your business or limiting your options, then of course you want Climategate to be a big deal, weakening the sustainability movement.

    If you “get it” as Nick says and see the changes as a wealth of opportunities, then you don't care whether climate change is actually real – all that matters is that enough people believe it to make the rules of the game change in your favor.

    In a way, I'm disagreeing with Nick – Climategate is relevant to business to the extent you believe it will impact the momentum and drive towards a sustainable economy.

    So, the discussion questions from here are:
    1) Do you think Climategate will have a significant impact or just fade after Copenhagen?
    2) Are the changes happening in the name of sustainability going to create great opportunities and the companies who don't “get it” doomed to medium to long-term failure?

  • gradyc

    AGW consensus scientists… what a great term! In a coordinated attempt to keep their grant money coming in, a virtual who's who of climate scientists are caught cooking the books. These consensus scientists might get away with their petty remarks, but the code manipulations to get a pre-determined outcome would be enough to get a conviction in a US civil court… a criminal court case requiring a “beyond reasonable doubt” would be much harder to prove, of course.

    What everyone seems to ignore in this debate is the futility of any action to reduce CO2 emissions without drastic cutbacks by China… and that is simply not going to happen. According to the IEA, China's annual CO2 emission rate is growing by over 600MT PER YEAR (for 2002 to 2006, the latest years the IEA publishes data). What does that mean in terms of Copenhagen or Kyoto? Here's what it means.

    If the UK magically reduced ALL its CO2 emissions to zero, Chinese increases would offset the reduction of the ENTIRE UK in only 11 months. If the US converted ALL its vehicles to zero CO2 emissions overnight (impossible), that reduction would be offset by Chinese increases in less than five years. If the US converted every light bulb in the US to CFLs overnight (impossible), the reduction would be offset by China in less than 5 months. If the US reduced CO2 EMISSIONS TO ZERO (impossible of course), that reduction would be offset by China alone in 12 years or by China, India, and the Middle East in 6 years.

    • nickaster

      I still can't believe the 'grant' argument is going around. If scientists were colluding dishonestly to try to get more research money then they would DISAGREE about global warning – ie they would pretend that the issue needed more research, and thus more money. As for China, do two wrongs make a right?

    • http://www.completesociety.org/ Ted Ko

      Since the point of this article is not to debate the AGW consensus or even talk about the reduction actions Annex 1 countries do, this comment is 99% useless (that's not a peer reviewed number).

      *But* there is an interesting point to be made about China in this discussion. No matter what China's position is in the Copenhagen talks, the fact is that their businesses already see clean energy and sustainability related opportunities as the way to grow and compete in the future.

      There's been plenty of talk in the mainstream media about the US falling behind China in cleantech, mainly because our policies don't do a good job of supporting American innovation and competitiveness in this area.

      So again, the Chinese don't necessarily care about Climategate – they already “get it” that this is the way to go for their businesses for a whole host of reasons besides AGW.

      American business leaders should consider the implications of their biggest future competitor taking this strategy. To rework gradyc's point on China, it doesn't matter to US or UK business what people do about Climategate if Chinese business is ignoring it.

  • Bradley

    18,000 there was a land bridge between Alaska and Siberia. Most of Canada was under an ice sheet as thick as that presently covering Greenland.

    Since then a lot of ice has melted, and the oceans have risen a lot – about 120 meters!

    Nothing above is in dispute.

    120 meters over 18,000 years – that's 67 mm/yr. Almost 70 cm per century. And that's just the average. It's come in fits and starts – sometimes faster, sometimes slower.

    The in 2004 the IPCC determined that from 1993 to 2003 sea levels rose from 2.8 mm to 3.1mm per year, mostly due to human induced Global Warming (AGM). For the preceding 100 years they found the average rate to be 1.8mm/yr.

    Anyone see a problem here? 18,000 years of 67mm/yr sea level rise, most of the time with meaningful human activity. Then 100 yrs of 1.8mm/yr sea level rise is suddenly attributable to human activity and requires and immediate, massive expansion of government power.

    Yawn. Find someone not on a govt or non-profit profile who takes any of this crap seriously. That includes the self-referential community of “climate scientists” milling around university basements.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_

    Honestly, before deleting this post, look in the mirror and think hard whether or not you are falling for some statist propaganda. Maybe even think whether or not you're equipped to tell the difference.

  • Tony T.

    Phil: There is no factual evidence for any of your claims. Sources please.