October 3rd, 2009

The willingness to believe that two plus two makes five

I read Orwell’s masterful dystopic political vision 1984 when I was about twelve years old, old enough to get what it was aiming at but young enough to be especially frightened by some of its most memorable images, which have stuck with me ever since.

Of course, there was Room 101 with the rats—who could forget that? But another image that made a deep impression, but that described a concept I didn’t quite understand at the time, was that of Winston Smith’s manipulative and brilliant interrogator O’Brien torturing Winston in order to force him to say—and what’s more to believe—that two plus two makes five if the Party willed it.

Here’s the relevant passage:

“Do you remember,” [O'Brien] went on, “writing in your diary, ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four’?”

“Yes,” said Winston.

O’Brien held up his left hand, its back toward Winston, with the thumb hidden and the four fingers extended.

“How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?”

“Four.”

“And if the Party says that it is not four but five — then how many?”

“Four.”

The word ended in a gasp of pain. The needle of the dial had shot up to fifty-five. The sweat had sprung out all over Winston’s body. The air tore into his lungs and issued again in deep groans which even by clenching his teeth he could not stop. O’Brien watched him, the four fingers still extended. He drew back the lever. This time the pain was only slightly eased.

“How many fingers, Winston?”

“Four.”

The needle went up to sixty.

“How many fingers, Winston?”

“Four! Four! What else can I say? Four!”

The needle must have risen again, but he did not look at it. The heavy, stern face and the four fingers filled his vision. The fingers stood up before his eyes like pillars, enormous, blurry, and seeming to vibrate, but unmistakably four.

“How many fingers, Winston?”

“Four! Stop it, stop it! How can you go on? Four! Four!”

“How many fingers, Winston?”

“Five! Five! Five!”

“No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?”

“Four! Five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!”

Abruptly he was sitting up with O’Brien’s arm round his shoulders. He had perhaps lost consciousness for a few seconds. The bonds that had held his body down were loosened. He felt very cold, he was shaking uncontrollably, his teeth were chattering, the tears were rolling down his cheeks. For a moment he clung to O’Brien like a baby, curiously comforted by the heavy arm round his shoulders. He had the feeling that O’Brien was his protector, that the pain was something that came from outside, from some other source, and that it was O’Brien who would save him from it.

“You are a slow learner, Winston,” said O’Brien gently.

“How can I help it?” he blubbered. “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”

“Sometimes, Winston, sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

If that doesn’t send a chill down your spine, you haven’t got one.

At this point in my life, I think I understand the passage all too well. It ties directly into observations such as the following one by Hilton Kramer (he is referring to Stalinism, but he could just as well be talking about the most rabid adherents of any sort of Leftism):

It is in the nature of Stalinism for its adherents to make a certain kind of lying—and not only to others, but first of all to themselves—a fundamental part of their lives. It is always a mistake to assume that Stalinists do not know the truth about the political reality they espouse. If they don’t know the truth (or all of it) one day, they know it the next, and it makes absolutely no difference to them politically For their loyalty is to something other than the truth. And no historical enormity is so great, no personal humiliation or betrayal so extreme, no crime so heinous that it cannot be assimilated into the ‘ideals’ that govern the true Stalinist mind which is impervious alike to documentary evidence and moral discrimination.

I saw this propensity first-hand myself as a child, in an uncle of mine who was a pro-Communist and whom I’ve described in this essay. My uncle had no problem integrating any new fact about Communism into his pro-Soviet world view.

At the time, my uncle’s behavior was a puzzlement to me. But now I know that he was a true believer, and the goal was the most important thing. If the ideals of Communism (or progressivism, or socialism, or whatever far-Left movement one is considering) are considered the greatest good—equality, “fairness,” help for the poor—then one never has to notice all the evils that are knowingly committed in its name, or all its dreadful although unintended (and yet inevitable) consequences, even for the poor people it is supposedly designed to help. In fact, one is obliged to deny them, no matter how strong the evidence.

To keep one’s eyes on the prize, whether that prize be the idealistic goals cited above or the simple drive for absolute power voiced by the fictional O’Brien when he tells Winston “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power”—it is necessary for the follower to filter out reality and to believe whatever is seen as bringing the world closer to the goal.

The mental gymnastics involved are described very well in another literary work, this time one of nonfiction, the autobiography of Communist-turned-government-informant Whittaker Chambers, entitled Witness [emphasis mine]:

When I first knew him, Harry Freeman [who later become the assistant US chief of Tass, the Soviet news service] was just out of Cornell University, where he had brilliantly majored in history…the best mind that I was to meet among the American Communist intellectuals. It was an entirely new type of mind to me. No matter how favorable his opinion had been to an individual or his political role, if that person fell from grace in the Communist Party, Harry Freeman changed his opinion about him instantly. That was not strange, that was a commonplace of Communist behavior. What was strange was that Harry seemed to change without any effort or embarrasment. There seemed to vanish from his mind any recollection that he had ever held any opinion other than the approved one. If you taxed him with his former views, he would show surprise, and that surprise would be authentic. He would then demonstrate to you, in a series of mental acrobatics so flexible that the shifts were all but untraceable, that he had never thought anything else.

O’Brien would be proud—now that’s the sort of mental flexibility that the Party needs and desires.

Of course, rationalization and denial of facts that don’t fit a person’s previously held beliefs is not just a province of the Left. It’s a general human trait, and that is why a mind is a difficult thing to change. But the Left carefully nurtures, fosters, advocates, and even requires this sort of denial, whereas it is my observation that the Right (and this was something that was formative in my own change experience), while hardly immune, is much less demanding that its adherents dismiss and deny logic and inconvenient facts.

[ADDENDUM: You might find this video to be of related interest (hat tip: commenter "gcotharn").]

175 Responses to “The willingness to believe that two plus two makes five”

  1. gcotharn Says:

    This Dr. Helen Smith video is relevant. Barbara Oakley, spurred by her sister’s seeming inability to consciously hear and acknowledge contrary facts, studies why people – including psychologists – take action which is based upon delusion.

  2. Oblio Says:

    neo, that is a sharp observation on the psychology of the Left regarding its acceptance of the necessity of lying. By lying, I don’t mean simply making a mistake, or having your facts wrongs, or drawing invalid conclusions. Those happen to everyone, no matter how well meaning. I don’t mean interpreting the same data set differently; that is fair game. I mean the stubborn refusal to acknowledge the facts or the attempt to suppress the facts or to mislead others about the facts. Cf. Wretchard’s post on the shenanigans around the Yamal data set at the heart of the famous AGW hockey stick graph. http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/10/01/the-man-who-broke-the-bank/#more-6192. We have discussed before the way that the Democrats can only win Presidential campaigns by running “false flag” campaigns, as both Clinton and Obama did.

    What has changed is that the lies are not organized around protecting the Communist Party. Something else lies closer to the heart of contemporary Leftism, something else that the lies are used to protect and promote.

    Our great advantage is reflected in Baroness Thatcher’s dictum that “the facts of life are conservative.” Perhaps we will only begin to make progress when we make lying shameful again, and being shown to lie a disqualification from positions of moral authority. I think this means that this time around is not going to be like 1948 and 1989; we will need to pursue the liars back into their academic, religious, philanthropic, and media sanctuaries, and reclaim those institutions. A whole generation of leadership will need to be removed and replaced. No amnesty this time around.

    Peggy Noonan moans today about the Passing of the Elders who maintained civility, and she means people like Walter Cronkite; I think those Elders failed when they chose the Dan Rathers and Anderson Coopers as their successors.

    A new generation of leadership must be summoned forth, and will be. The ancien regime is emitting the odor of decay.

  3. mezzrow Says:

    Thanks for the refernce to Witness , neo. One thing bears repeating to those never exposed to this seminal book. Quite beyond the political and ethical questions we know the book for, I must comment on what a wonderful and evocative writer Chambers is.

    Reading the 700 pages of this singular book is a like eating a fine gourmet meal. I feared that reading it might be taking a dose of medicine to give my adjusted narrative some background in anti-Communist history, but the way that he brings the first half of the 20th century alive for us is a gift we can never repay. What a writer.

    Give a copy to a liberal friend. I know you know an English major out there somewhere that needs to read it.

  4. Doom Says:

    Even when I was on the left, I realized something was wrong and so never quite fit in. When I finally rejected the left, it took me a great deal of time to come to this understanding. It is evil, or one of it’s faces. I am not sure it makes all of it’s people evil. It does make them much more amenable to doing evil though. It has taken me even longer to separate that it is the thoughts and actions of most of the left which is evil, most of them truly do not know what they do.

    Those who do, and there are enough of those, have chosen evil and therefore are evil. The boldness of that evil amazes me though, some 3 decades after putting things together. It is that absolute surety which leads so many to their doom. Why, many of them are even thankful to be destroyed by such a ‘beneficent force’. The stark face of it just amazes me, as does the willingness to believe.

  5. S.Graham Says:

    When I read “Witness”, I felt that I was reading Truth.I remarkable man and a remarkable book.

  6. Gray Says:

    Always remember: “The monsters are the monsters.”

  7. huxley Says:

    Here’s David Horowitz, a reformed radical, discussing power:

    It’s all instrumental — that is, when you are a radical, what you are thinking of is power. It’s about power. You adopt this position. You take up that issue, but it’s all to advance the power. They never think about what it’s going to look like or how to put it together.

    I can tell you, a radical never spends five seconds on thinking what makes a society work. That’s not the way they work. They want to know, you know, what they can get away with to advance this big agenda, which is you get power and you change everything.

  8. Trimegistus Says:

    I am always struck and disheartened by how modern liberalism makes liars of ordinary people. I have conversations with people, people I’ve known for years and respected, in which they say things which we both know to be untrue. “Palin said she can see Russia from her house.” “Bush invaded Iraq for the oil.” “Obama’s a moderate.”

    They are lies. The people saying them know they are lies. The people hearing them know they are lies.

    I think they are not intended as statements of truth or falsehood but as markers of identity. If you insult Sarah Palin you are saying “I am of the liberal tribe.” The American tribe is extinct.

  9. jon baker Says:

    Two things I think of after reading this article by NEO and the comments:

    1) We have to call a spade a spade- even if it means a temporary setback for the “right”. A “right” wing politician gets caught in a legitamate scandal (as opposed to a fake one) then we should not defend him/her from appropriate discipline.

    2) Continue to forward articles that open people’s eyes to how much the MSM media covers up / distorts the truth. We will not open all the eyes- but some will be opened.

  10. SteveH Says:

    No wonder i never leaned liberal. I suck at lying to myself.

  11. Obloodyhell Says:

    > If you taxed him with his former views, he would show surprise, and that surprise would be authentic.

    I’ve commented on something similar, probably here but certainly elsewhere — The Liberal Reset Button.

    To be a True Liberal, you must possess one of these convenient little buttons.

    To prove its existence to yourself, you must use an indirect method, as it’s a metaphorical switch in the liberal head, not an actual physical device. But believe me, it still is as real and reliable as any actual physical device could ever hope to be.

    “Whether a thought is spoken or not, it is a real thing and has powers of reality.”
    – ‘Dune’ -

    The LRB is a real thing.

    To prove its existence, take any well-meaning and moderately reasonable True Liberal (“moderately reasonable” meaning they aren’t visibly fanatical about their beliefs, but appear willing to discuss their basis in a rational manner).

    Now, start with some cherished viewpoint, such as, oh, “higher taxes increase government revenue, always”. Now, carefully, and with reasoning and facts, show them, step by step by step, how that premise is blatantly faulty, and, in fact, their ideal behavior leads to the opposite of that which is intended. By carefully, here, I DO mean — step by step, getting agreement at every step, with no “we’ll get back to that, later” — do not proceed unless and until you have total agreement with the current state of the “proof”. At the end, you will, hopefully, have led them all the way to the point where it is clear that their cherished premise is invalid. Get them to openly concur that they don’t have a clue, that the point in question is wrong.

    Now go away.

    Come back two days later, and you will find that they are not only no longer familiar with anything they agreed upon on the subject, that they have, in fact, reverted to their previous position, the one that they had prior to your discussion.

    POOF! the whole discussion never happened.

    In the middle of the night, the Liberal Reset Button was pushed. All newly assimilated data has been meticulously compared to Official Liberal Talking Points®. If the new data conflicts, with OLTP, the new data is clearly faulty, and is purged mercilessly. All is well in the land of Clod.

    As you can see, this fits in well with the observed behavior predicted by the original article.

  12. huxley Says:

    I don’t recall if neo ever covered the Asch Conformity Experiments in which 75% of the participants chose to agree with an incorrect answer when everyone else gave the incorrect answer.

    I remember reading about the Asch and Milgram experiments in high school and vowing to myself that I would not cave to social pressure that way.

    It’s a vow that has gotten me into trouble many times.

  13. neo-neocon Says:

    huxley: no, I don’t recall the Asch ones, although I probably had to study them. But Milgram made a very deep impression on me, similar to what you say about yourself. Here’s a post I wrote about a recent variation on the theme.

  14. Vieux Charles Says:

    Neo says: Of course, rationalization and denial of facts that don’t fit a person’s previously held beliefs is not just a province of the Left. It’s a general human trait…

    How very true, and a trait we should all be ever mindful of lest we allow it to infiltrate our own world view.

    And what of those of those of us who support the Iraq war, and who don’t support the left’s version of the 2008 financial market crash, ObamaCare, or see the urgency (or possibly even the existence) of anthropomorphic global warming? What of human evolution, abortion, gun ownership, and the possibility of an Iranian bomb?

    Constantly question your beliefs, even the leadership to which you are affiliated. Review your notes, debate, mull over your opponent’s facts – let reality shape your world view not your ideology. Learn, grow, and launch your attack anew against those who refuse to do the same.

    It is a target rich environment. They are everywhere, indeed they’ve succeeded to the point they’re now running this country.

  15. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I don’t know that liberals all believe themselves. Not all of them, anyway.
    When I explain something and finish up by saying, “I’m not telling you this because I think you don’t know it. I’m telling you this because you think I don’t know it. But I do.”, they quit arguing. If they really believed themselves, this wouldn’t cause them to quit.
    Finding themselves busted is different.

  16. The Divine Conspiracy Blog » Blog Archive » Denial Says:

    [...] is a great post from Neo-Neocon on the true nature of liberals. Some good comments as well. Posted in Politics | [...]

  17. Gray Says:

    Here’s a post I wrote about a recent variation on the theme.

    I particularly enjoyed the first comment on that post. The commenter really nailed the point that they had a bunch of loopy grad students behaving like mindless martinets and then extrapolated that to slur military and police.

    Good job, Gray.

    Thank you, Gray: And furthermore, I’ve experienced more compassion, decency, and selflessness from members of the military than from loopy grad students, or Whole Foods shoppers.

    Well, you can only expect compassion from the strong and cruelty from the weak.

    Another excellent point, Gray.

  18. Perfected democrat Says:

    Trimegistus Says:: “I think they are not intended as statements of truth or falsehood but as markers of identity.

    The remarkably perverse nature of the radical left and related group’s propensity for crass intellectual dishonesty is particularly reflected in the casualness with which it is displayed; followed by the callous brutality with which it has often played out historically; that record the reason we need to be so wary. It is group/mob/cult behaviour which becomes tantamount to religion, rationalizing any convenient dogma, however irrational, to further the particular group, as well as enhance the individual’s sense of identity within the group (ie. criminal motorcycle gangs); by another name and definition: “Al Taquia” ….

  19. Baklava Says:

    Link for Mitsu :)

    or Neo !

    http://www.floppingaces.net/2009/10/03/being-promoted-beyond-your-abilities-but-not-your-ambitions-reader-post/

  20. Baklava Says:

    Money sentence: President Obama, like President Amin has no depth of understanding of the engines that drive a Free Market Economy.

  21. Baklava Says:

    N e o,

    O M G

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/10/024637.php

    Anne Frank video

  22. Mitsu Says:

    The strange thing about this post, Neo, is that it is precisely how most of my friends view people on the right; a huge tendency to filter perception, editing facts to fit preconceived ideas of how things ought to be, a systematic tendency to oversimplify complex situations, ignore salient facts, etc. I *have* noticed a tendency to similarly filter reality on the left, but not among thoughtful liberals, but rather among people on the more doctrinaire far left — a political species that is nearly nonexistent these days, particularly among the well-educated.

    I’ve made this argument many times before, but I’ll just reiterate that much of what conservatives rail against on the “left” is really a straw man, a chimera; a far left that hasn’t had significant political relevance for quite a while. I had a number of friends in college who adhered to this political philosophy and I still have some friends who do, but they represent only a tiny fraction of the population.

    The vast majority of intellectual Democrats simply aren’t doctrinaire in the way you characterize. We’re evidence-based. We’re not anti-capitalist, not reflexively anti-American, not anti-Western, etc. While some on the right seem to want to portray all Democrats as secret Stalinists, the fact is not even my friends on the far left are Stalinists, though they are reflexively anti-American (in the sense of being suspicious of everything we do, particularly in foreign policy), and virtually none of the educated liberals I count myself among are in any sense anti-American or doctrinaire, period.

    I’m somewhat surprised that you’d fail to make the distinction between educated liberals and leftists; since many of your relatives and friends are Democrats, I can’t imagine very many if any of them exhibit the behavior you ascribe to your Communist uncle. Liberalism in the United States is actually rather conservative by European standards; the Democratic party in the US is in many ways to the right of many of the center-right parties of Europe.

    I am perhaps more of a pragmatist than many of my liberal friends; I disagree with the Democratic party more often than most of my liberal friends. However, I have productive discussions with my liberal friends even when I disagree with them, and we all agree that empirical evidence can and should be the basis of evaluating any political policy. That is to say, does it work or not? Bring on the statistical evidence, the scientific studies, the historical case studies. That’s the province of the folks I hang out with.

    What I observe on the right, however, doesn’t seem to exhibit these qualities in many cases. On this blog, for example, I find your posts typically well-argued (Neo), and some of those by Oblio and a few others. But many seem to be rather knee-jerk and quick to judge situations simply on the basis of whether a policy was advocated by one side or the other, regardless of empirical evidence or rational argument. Looking at the policies of, say, the Bush Administration, I can only say that many of them were based on an appalling lack of foresight, planning, and even basic knowledge of crucial facts — such as Bush’s famous ignorance of the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, or FEMAs awful performance during Hurricane Katrina, or the terrible lack of planning that went into the Iraq War, the utter failure of intelligence that preceded it, the loss of focus on Al Qaeda, and on and on.

    There was, I believe, an admirable dedication to reason amongst some older conservatives such as William Safire and William F. Buckley — while I disagreed with them much of the time at least they were willing and able to make cogent and well-thought-out arguments. I find far less of that in the current rhetoric coming from the right, particularly from the likes of people like Glenn Beck and others. So, I have to say that my perception of the situation is quite the reverse of yours, on this count, Neo.

  23. Perfected democrat Says:

    Mitsu Says: “… a huge tendency to filter perception, editing facts to fit preconceived ideas of how things ought to be, a systematic tendency to oversimplify complex situations, ignore salient facts, etc.”

    An excellent example of this sort of phenomena (projection?): Mitsu Says, “Looking at the policies of, say, the Bush Administration, I can only say that many of them were based on an appalling lack of foresight, planning, and even basic knowledge of crucial facts — such as Bush’s famous ignorance of the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, or FEMAs awful performance during Hurricane Katrina, or the terrible lack of planning that went into the Iraq War, the utter failure of intelligence that preceded it, the loss of focus on Al Qaeda, and on and on.”

  24. huxley Says:

    Mitsu: Many of us here, such as neo and myself, have been on the right and the left — whereas you have only been on the left-liberal side — and our impressions are different from yours. What to do?

    It is interesting how disconnected the two worldviews are. I remember enough of my past liberal self that I can reconstruct much of how liberals put those views together, and at times here and elsewhere I will defend liberal viewpoints. Nonetheless, overall I find the right a more rational place to be, though not a perfectly rational place of course.

    As to your specific instances — and thanks for those since you often leave these matters at the level of your seemingly omniscient opinion — those are long discussions that I don’t consider nearly as clearcut as you do, but it would be unwieldy to take those items on in this topic.

    Similarly I might dismiss Obama’s intelligence and competence with his failure, so far, to get any favors from other countries, aside from Bermuda, on Guantanamo or Afghanistan, and allowing himself to be publicly mocked by Sarkozy over Iran, as well as the recent stupid rebuff over the Olympics. Plus of course, Obama’s failure, so far, to pass any significant legislation beyond the stimulus package which has failed dramatically to contain unemployment to Obama’s projected ceiling.

    Maybe some or much of this works out farther down the line — I sure hope something gets better with Iran — but so far it hasn’t, and the liberal-left seems to filter out these gaps rather well, often by blaming Bush and running down his intelligence, which would include you Mitsu.

    We all have strong opinions about these things. The only solution I can see is to stick with reason and specifics.

  25. Doom Says:

    Mitisu,

    I personally have seen it quite entrenched among the educated whom you discuss. It is not just liberal arts, it does not stop at the soft sciences, it is rather potent even in the hard sciences. There seems to be a required group thought process that must exist for one to be allowed beyond undergraduate work. If one does not agree with the standards, or even lifestyles (such as being married at “too young of an age”), a person will be summarily dismissed or more likely, never admitted. It is easy to spot the disbelievers, and the believers.

    At MIT, while staying with a professor and his wife who showed me around MIT and Harvard (he had taught at both), and being told that I was an excellent candidate, when it became known that I was conservative, I was asked by that professor if I understood that my kind were not allowed in his schools or those like them. Of course I knew.

    So, please, spare me the junk. Your cool words and soft touch mean nothing. If you, like the media, do not understand how out of touch you are, fine. But go back to your fish bowls and ivory towers. Keep your lies to yourself. If it might be very true that you do not even understand that you lie. That too, at some point, was a choice I do believe.

  26. huxley Says:

    Mitsu: BTW I do salute you for attempting to bridge some of the gap between left and right by posting in this blog. I know from experience that’s not easy, and at times, I’d agree that you are not treated all that well or fairly here.

    But consider my experience in a left-wing blog run by a person, David Brin, whom I had previously admired. I was sliced to ribbons and threatened constantly with banning. Leading the charge was Dr. David Brin himself.

    http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2008/07/win-over-those-conservatives-who-still.html

    There is plenty of nastiness and irrationality on the right to be sure, but my observation and experience is that it is worse on the left.

  27. Gray Says:

    The vast majority of intellectual Democrats simply aren’t doctrinaire in the way you characterize. We’re evidence-based. We’re not anti-capitalist, not reflexively anti-American, not anti-Western, etc.

    Now there is a statement from a man who doesn’t just believe, but knows that 2 + 2 = 5 or three or whatever the ideology demands.

    “Sometimes, Winston, sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

    Holy wow…. Mitsu didn’t just describe it he demonstrated it!

    There it is–that’s what it sounds like, and as O’brien describes, he considers himself sane, rational and even (snicker) an intellectual. He thinks he’s “pragmatic”.

    Well done, Mitsu. Chilling….

  28. Mitsu Says:

    Okay, so Doom says “I was asked by that professor if I understood that my kind were not allowed in his schools or those like them.” First of all, Doom, as many have derided me for in the past, I went to Harvard. Yes, liberals outnumbered conservatives at Harvard as at most Ivy League schools, but there were plenty of conservatives at Harvard then and now. The Harvard Salient was and is a conservative publication there, and as their own web page suggests, “a sizable conservative minority” exists there. I have never heard anyone refer to conservatives as “your kind” and certainly the idea that anyone would suggest that a conservative was “not allowed” into Harvard, MIT, or any other school on the basis of their political beliefs is both clearly wrong and such a statement should be at the very least a basis for both a lawsuit and disciplinary action by the school. I find your story, in other words, rather hard to believe, and if it did occur, that professor can and should be subject to disciplinary action and worse.

    This is not to say that I didn’t see political correctness as a problem at Harvard; I certainly did. I spent a lot of time arguing with doctrinaire leftists (in a friendly manner) against their sometimes rigid point of view. So, yes, I agree there’s some degree of tunnel vision among some in the academic left. However, among those who are more mainstream, I see far less of that.

    Huxley — I didn’t have time to read that thread but I don’t doubt your story. I don’t actually believe there are many sites on the right or the left where much substantive discussion occurs across the right/left divide. Part of the reason I come here to post once in a while is I find Neo’s posts in general fairly well reasoned and I find the atmosphere here more conducive to discussion than, say, Free Republic or other more extreme right-wing sites. I actually totally avoid the more extreme left-wing sites mostly because I find the echo chamber there rather boring. On both types of sites I’ve seen people of contrary views hounded, which I think is unfortunate.

    What I mean, however, by liberals being open to debate is that in my own peer group (my friends) as well as some other moderate liberal sites I frequent, we can and do discuss failings of liberal policy, contrary evidence, etc. In other words, the profile of the discussion doesn’t fit Neo’s characterization in this post. For example, every liberal (as opposed to leftist) I know is in favor of market capitalism; they (we) simply believe there’s a point to having a certain amount of regulation, that unregulated markets are unstable for various reasons we could examine in more detail, but which were demonstrated very well in the recent fiscal crisis. Exactly what regulation would be best is a matter of pragmatic discussion; obviously too much regulation would stifle the market, but too little I believe leads to too much long-term instability. I’ve had many such discussions with friends and acquaintances and while some of them can become rather impassioned, none of them would argue for a total government takeover of production, etc. I see plenty of room for rational discussion of such issues between people on the right and the left; I don’t really see why this has to become such an emotional issue that no fruitful exchange can take place, yet that seems to happen a lot these days.

  29. Mitsu Says:

    Gray slipped. Okay, so you’re saying the fact that I claim that I am not anti-capitalist, not anti-Western, etc., is “chilling”? I am speaking about *my own views* as well as the views of most of my friends. Are you claiming that I don’t know my own views, or are you saying that, despite having known these people for years, they are, in fact, closet Stalinists, ready to impose a dead political ideology on the world, and I’ve merely deluded myself into thinking they believe in markets?

  30. Gray Says:

    Previously: The vast majority of intellectual Democrats simply aren’t doctrinaire in the way you characterize.

    Now: I am speaking about *my own views* as well as the views of most of my friends. Are you claiming that I don’t know my own views

    See the shift there? He ignored his own previous statement and continued as though someone else said it.

    “He would then demonstrate to you, in a series of mental acrobatics so flexible that the shifts were all but untraceable, that he had never thought anything else.”

    Keep going Mitsu. This is incredible.

  31. Gray Says:

    For example, every liberal (as opposed to leftist) I know is in favor of market capitalism

    they (we) simply believe there’s a point to having a certain amount of regulation, that unregulated markets are unstable

    That’s how it’s done. Right there. The “mental flexibility” Neo described.

    See the shift? Not only were both sentences said by the same person, those contradictory statements were in the same sentence!

    It is chilling.

  32. Mitsu Says:

    Gray, I was simply attempting to figure out what about that post you found so “chilling”. So now you’re complaining that I’m making the claim that the vast majority of intellectual Democrats are not doctrinaire in the way Neo characterizes? What is chilling about my making this claim?

    I’ve spent my entire adult life discussing politics, foreign policy, economics, and much more with a large number of people, mostly well-educated, who would describe themselves as liberals, and I am making this claim based on my personal experience; as well as reading thinkers and writers. I *do* agree there are doctrinaire leftists in academia and elsewhere who do exhibit some of the characteristics Neo ascribes to them; but these people are not, for the most part, Democrats; they tend to view Democrats with nearly the same disdain they view Republicans. They are a tiny minority. I count some of my friends among them but they’re certainly not represented to any large degree in the Democratic Party. If you think that claim is “chilling” then I guess you’re more easily chilled than I am.

  33. Mitsu Says:

    Gray slipped again:

    “See the shift? Not only were both sentences said by the same person, those contradictory statements were in the same sentence!

    It is chilling.”

    Unless you’re claiming that anything other than totally unregulated market capitalism isn’t market capitalism at all, then there’s nothing whatsoever contradictory about my statements. I don’t know of any national politician, Republican or Democrat, who advocate a COMPLETELY unregulated capitalism, i.e., totally abolish the SEC, totally abolish the Fed, etc.? If that’s your view, you’re welcome to it, but that is not the commonly accepted definition of market capitalism.

    There is a rational discussion that can be had as to how much regulation is optimal; I believe it is far more than we’ve had in the last couple of decades; you may believe we ought to have even less. I think you’re wrong, and I think there’s a lot of empirical evidence to support my view. But this is a *rational* discussion that can be had, if you open to a rational discussion, where one can talk about evidence, model, theories, etc.

  34. Gray Says:

    If you think that claim is “chilling” then I guess you’re more easily chilled than I am.

    I honestly don’t think you can see the shifts, mental conceits and gyrations you perform to keep your ideological views from collapsing from self-contradiction. You’ve demonstrated the willingness to believe that two plus two makes five.

    It’s creepy.

  35. Gray Says:

    If that’s your view, you’re welcome to it, but that is not the commonly accepted definition of market capitalism.

    I’m unaware I mentioned my views on markets, or capitalism. You are arguing with your own previous statement as though someone else said it.

    In the end, you will show “in a series of mental acrobatics so flexible that the shifts were all but untraceable” that “market capitalism” means heavy government regulation and command; that two plus two makes five.

  36. Mitsu Says:

    Gray, like I said, so far the only evidence you’ve come up with for a “contradiction” in my views is your claim that anything other than totally unregulated capitalism doesn’t qualify as market capitalism, which would mean that our economy and the economy of every other capitalist country in the world isn’t based on market capitalism. What is it then?

  37. Mitsu Says:

    ‘In the end, you will show “in a series of mental acrobatics so flexible that the shifts were all but untraceable” that “market capitalism” means heavy government regulation and command; that two plus two makes five.’

    I’ve already expressed my views, that we ought to have more regulation, but there’s such a thing as too much regulation, and that determining what regulations are optimal ought to be based on careful analysis, empirical evidence, and historical case studies. Our economy was relatively stable in the 50′s and 60′s I believe due to some extent to FDR’s regulations; those regulations are somewhat outdated today, so new regulations ought to be put in place. I am absolutely against a command economy or a planned economy — such things are clearly supremely inefficient for many obvious reasons.

  38. Gray Says:

    My claim?

  39. Gray Says:

    I believe due to some extent to FDR’s regulations; those regulations are somewhat outdated today, so new regulations ought to be put in place. I am absolutely against a command economy or a planned economy

    Economic freedom = economic slavery.

    New regulation is not planning.

    Government regulation = the market

    2 + 2 = 5

    Chilling.

  40. Mitsu Says:

    Yes, your claim. You claim that these statements are contradictory:

    “For example, every liberal (as opposed to leftist) I know is in favor of market capitalism

    they (we) simply believe there’s a point to having a certain amount of regulation, that unregulated markets are unstable”

    But they would only be contradictory if you believe that only unregulated markets qualify as market capitalism. Otherwise, where is the contradiction? I am stating that I, like nearly everyone else in both the Republican and Democratic party, believes that *some* regulation is needed to stabilize markets, and *too much* regulation is bad for markets. Where Democrats and Republicans differ is how much regulation is optimal. Both Democrats and Republicans believe that markets, not some central planning agency, ought to be the means by which goods and services are distributed. The fact that I happen to think more regulation is optimal than has been in place in the last couple of decades is not in any way contrary to the view that markets ought to be the way in which goods and services are distributed.

    I think this for a solid theoretical reason: markets are good short-term optimizers. They suffer from some instability, such as a propensity to suffer from bubbles. So, you add in some, not too much, regulation, to dampen down the damaging effect of bubbles and other instabilities.

  41. Mitsu Says:

    Gray, you’re simply being incoherent and silly, at this point. Do you think the SEC ought to be abolished? Do you think the Fed ought to be abolished? Should we get rid of every government regulatory agency?

    If you think this, great, have at it, but you’re on the lunatic fringe of the political spectrum if so.

    If you don’t, then we can have a reasoned debate about *how much* regulation is optimal.

    What you seem to be saying is that anyone who suggests more regulation than we’ve had is a good idea is essentially saying that they want to impose a command economy and institute economic “slavery” — that’s precisely the sort of irrational non-debate that prevents left and right from having any sort of reasoned discussion. Talk about perceptual filters.

  42. br549 Says:

    Sadly, the side with more power wins the day. I do not agree with “democrat”, “liberal”, or “left” points of view.
    Even though, were I a lazy man, I could benefit greatly from the “gimmes” taken from others and handed to me – which, at the end of the day, is all it amounts to.

    It is sad on the one hand that a person who quit school in the 6th grade can neutralize the vote of another holding a post graduate degree. But there are under educated individuals with more common sense, honesty, integrity and fairness flowing through their veins than many with post graduate degrees.

    Mitsu, what you state in your last paragraph above is exactly what is being set in motion. You don’t see that? Then perhaps it is perception. Knowledge is based on perception.

  43. Artfldgr Says:

    the scene imbodies hte schizo mind necessary to live in a totalitarian system. where all your ideas and truths are subordinated to the state. its how a camp guard can go home after killing many a day, and be a loving father and the family not know what he does. its how obama can appear smart and independent and yet be in thrall to the ideology that makes choices for him.

  44. Oblio Says:

    Mitsu, what do your liberal intellectual friends think about this aspect of Leftist psychology? Or do they even perceive what neo has described, following Orwell, Koestler, Chambers, etc.? Do they perceive the willingness to leave facts and evidence behind in pursuit of political correctness? Do they perceive the lies? If so, they are missing a great chance to enhance their moral authority by calling out the Left. We give great credit to parts of the Democratic Party–the Humphrey wing and part of the labor movement–who were willing to do so in the 1940s. Where are their successors today?

    If the liberal intellectuals aren’t speaking up, why not?

    I would love to read some modern liberal critiques of Leftism. I would love to hear their voice, but right now, all I hear are crickets.

  45. Oblio Says:

    Mitsu, I’m following up the links you left on the Rio thread.

    In the meantime, would you follow the Richard Fernandez link above? Fernandez is making a case for scientific malpractice and bad faith in the way the Yamal data set has been handled. Since you are very concerned about facts and evidence, you should have a point of view about Fernandez’s argument that doesn’t depend on your overall opinion about AGW. I would like to hear how a liberal intellectual would address the substance of the claims of data suppression and cherry-picking.

    Fernandez could be wrong, of course. He only has a Masters from Harvard.

  46. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu: a far left that hasn’t had significant political relevance for quite a while.

    This is an eerie statement from you. They have more political relevance now than any time in my life.

    Mitsu: the fact is not even my friends on the far left are Stalinists, though they are reflexively anti-American

    And they are still your friends? I do not continue talking to people who are anti-American except if I have to for my job.

    Mitsu: Liberalism in the United States is actually rather conservative by European standards

    We know. We see the constant double-digit unemployment and wonder when Europeans will get smart about that.

    Mitsu: For example, every liberal (as opposed to leftist) I know is in favor of market capitalism;

    If you did you would’ve voted McCain/Palin. They had the economic “prescription” where as Obama/Biden advocated the virus that had people hunkering down, bracing themselves, and people generally stopped spending money in preparation of their policies. 52% unemployment among the young. 17% unemployment if you count people who have a job but are over qualified for that job and want a job that can pay their bills. 9.8% unemployment because of your virus Mitsu!

    Mitsu: There is a rational discussion that can be had as to how much regulation is optimal;

    Let’s see. No to cap and tax and no to ∅bamacare. There is your rational discussion. There is absolutely no rational human being that can think given HISTORY and looking at the laboratories across the pond and above us that the ∅bama care regulation on the health industry is ‘optimal’ — funny choice of word.

  47. Baklava Says:

    Optimal?

    Can we just have a discussion on why you choose the words you choose?

    There is a place for regulation Mitsu. Every conservative would acknowledge that. Do you know how many programs, agencies, departments we have at the federal and state levels?

    Let’s take one in CA. Health and Human Services Agency. Underneath is many departments. Department of Health Care Services AND the Department of Public Health and others. Inside those Departments are programs such as Genetic and Disease Branch and Licensing and Certification.

    There are many necessary functions of government. The last two functions could be privatized but they function inside CA government. They provide a necessary “service”. What people on the right see is that government could be trimmed yet we have a government that doesn’t stay the same size or get trimmed. We have a government that grows EVERY year at huge dollar amounts and percentages.

    Many of the functions of government are services. Some are enforcement agencies. Some are just incredible boondoggles.

    Take for example your ‘optimal’ regulations set forth pushing banks to lend to people who didn’t have anything down, and push people to make loans that were interest only loans in the name of affordable housing.

    Soon it became a ‘trend’ as more and more people thought the only way is up. Liberal leftists brought this on America. Obama, Dodd and Frank smacked regulation to stop this practice out of committe in 1995.

    It was you people. you leftists who don’t know anything about how to run a country (I was a leftist I know) who brought on this mess and then come running in acting like you know how to solve it.

    Can you admit for once that leftists created the market collapse.

    Can you admit for once that leftists are the ones exacerbating health costs and college tuition costs.

    More and more government is not the answer. It was the problem.

    Let’s go back to the day when banks gave loans based on 80% loan to value, having 20% down, and a 30 year fixed rate. How simple is that regulation? How many government bureaucrats do you need for that?

    How many GSE’s would that take? How many trillions would we have saved?

    No to cap and tax and no to ∅bamacare. They are not ‘optimal’ regulation. If there are non-able bodied people who need health care – you can create legislation for that alone.

  48. Baklava Says:

    I meant 2005 not 1995.

  49. Baklava Says:

    What you try to do Mitsu is move the discussion to some irrelevant intellectual arena that doesn’t even apply to what is going on in our country and other countries.

    To live in such a world is as Neo describes.

  50. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Jeez, Mitsu.
    You didn’t even bother with new talking points.
    NOLA suffered because of corrupt, incompetent local and state leadership. Alabama and Mississippi did far better, same hurricane.
    The lack of planning in Iraq? Three weeks, Mitsu, and we went from conquest to occupation. No plan survives contact with the enemy and the Iraq op looks better in hindsight than many other victories. But those other circumstances won’t help bash Bush.
    As I said earlier, I do not say this because I think you don’t know it. I say it because you think I, and by extension, others don’t know it. Got to give you credit for persistence, though.
    Suffice it to say that all of your points about what Bush did wrong have been countered. I just provided a short-hand, a sample, of how it’s all been done before.
    Get new material.

  51. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu,

    How would you “plan” for Afghanistan better?

    What’s your vision for the future?

  52. waltj Says:

    Let’s talk specifics, Mitsu. You say you favor more market regulation in certain areas, and that perhaps some of FDR’s regulations need updating. In what areas? Which regulations? Why “updated” and not simply “abolished” if they’re out of date? Are these the types of regulations that level the playing field, or the types that dictate certain outcomes?

    So you know I’m not trying to ambush you, here’s my take on this. First, disclosure, disclosure, disclosure. No Enron-style accounting shenanigans; accounting rules must retain a conservative bias. But I oppose regulating what types of investment products may be sold. “Beware of geeks bearing equations” is an old warning in derivatives markets, one that should be heeded often, but as long as the geeks fully disclose what their equations are supposed to do, AND what the risks are, let them give it a shot.

    Regarding banks, there should be no penalty from government for a bank that refuses to make high-risk loans. Period. If a bank wants to offer products like “NINJA” loans (no income, job, or assets), that’s their business, but it shouldn’t be government regulations pushing them to do it, nor should they come running to government when the loans inevitably tank.

    Ok, now you have a couple of my examples. What are some of yours?

  53. Perfected democrat Says:

    Richard Aubrey Says: “You didn’t even bother with new talking points.”

    Exactly, projecting when it’s convenient, ignoring (deliberately choosing not to read and/or acknowledge the pertinent), glossing over or denying when it’s not convenient. “Short-hand” is adequate response to a pseudo-intellectual attitude that consistantly purveys a double standard for substantuation, where simply saying “it” makes it so (ie. “Bush lied, people died.”); Like Obungler, for whom talk is cheap, and in the service of promoting his leftist ideology, life is cheap (ie. abortion); where “Al Taquia” lurks at the edge.

  54. Gray Says:

    What’s your vision for the future?

    o Highly regulated free markets.

    o Your choice of a single-payer government health plan.

    o An opportunity to conserve scarce and expensive free green energy.

    o Fleeing Afghanistan in an honorable rout in Vicdefeat.

    o People gainfully unemployed in green jobs

    o An economy forever on the verge of a real recovery.

    o Walking to work in your battery-car to the unemployment office in new-urban green rural-cities

    o Enjoying more scarce locally confiscated organic foodstuffs.

    o Living in a Superpower of Compassion for other people.

    o Investing in your child’s education through confiscatory taxes to your state.

    o A wastefully caring anonymous beauracracy of efficency to neglect your every need.

    o A boot smashing again and again into a human face forever for the human good.

  55. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Mitsu, I am hoping you will respond to Oblio’s question about the Yamal tree-ring issue. I am wondering whether you have noticed any change in recent years among your evidence-based friends in their views on anthropogenic global warming, as the data has diverged farther and farther away from what climate models predicted it would be, and as evidence has accumulated of serious reason to question just how of the data is reliable in the first place. If, as you indicate, they are fact-based people who will change their views when the facts change, you should be seeing some movement away from the former religious certainty with which many people (including me, for a while, until I started paying closer attention to the facts) viewed this issue. Have you?

  56. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Doggone it. Just how MUCH of the data . . . .

  57. Gray Says:

    Mitsu, I am hoping you will respond to Oblio’s question about the Yamal tree-ring issue.

    Why do you even care? Based on his previous prevarication and self-contradiction on this thread, why would you expect any kind of cogent answer?

    Let me use my Mitsu emulator and answer it for you:

    “Well, even though many consider the tree-ring data a primary source of information, it’s still only one point of many that proves the earth is warming due to man’s activities. I don’t know anyone except the fringe rightwing that believes that man has no effect on the environment.

    Even if all the sources of data and models are incorrect, the danger of AGW is simply too great to do nothing, as many of my conservative friends advocate.”

    It’s just “duckspeak” quack quack quack quack. You can just reel it off your keyboard. It requires no thought….

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

  58. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    You are quite probably right, Gray. Mitsu has a long history of evading questions he doesn’t want to answer, either by “answering” them with mush as you suggest or by avoiding them altogether. I’m just interested to see whether he’ll do it again this time or whether he might actually have noticed the trend I’ve asked about — which I have begun to notice, here and there, myself.

  59. Oblio Says:

    Mitsu, I have posted my response to your links on the Rio thread.

    Gray, I look at these liberal intellectuals as kind of shy, woodland creatures whom you must not startle. The Mitsus of the world will not change their minds until they realize that they are acting in ways that are the opposite of the values they claim to embody. They aren’t rational and fact-based. They have a hard time dealing with reality. They aren’t courageous. They don’t speak truth to power. They are living in a fantasy.

    But if you shout at them and startle them, they will run and take refuge in their herd of independent thinkers, who will never question the core beliefs that unite the herd. One of those beliefs is that conservatives are just mean and stupid.

  60. How things ought to be, gosh darn it, overrides what we know about reality « Bent Notes Says:

    [...] Neoneocon reflects on a universal human tendency – continuing to believe something that one is hugely invested in even after all evidence points to a contrary conclusion -  and concludes – aha! one must eventually do so, no matter how complete – or not - one’s amassing of data – that, while the right falls prey to this on occasion, it is essential to the left’s sense of its own coherence.  She cites thinkers from George Orwell to Whittaker Chambers to Hilton Kramer.  Important reading. [...]

  61. JohnC Says:

    Oblio – we’ve had a problem for a couple of weeks with swarming stink bugs. They are awful. Today I constructed a bag a bug to attract so that I could dispatch them to the ash heap of history. I don’t need and don’t want to study them. I know them too well already.

    All this time I thought you just wanted to bag a liberal bug and then onto the ash heap with it. But no it looks you actually want to study them in detail for some reason. Take it from me: they all look the same, they can contort their bodies to get into the smallest openings, they are relentless in their mindless drive to get into my / your space and to take over by default and change it. They want to breed. And they stink.

  62. Gray Says:

    Gray, I look at these liberal intellectuals as kind of shy, woodland creatures whom you must not startle.

    http://www.break.com/index/hunterkicksboar.html

  63. Mitsu Says:

    Wow, a lot of posts in a brief time. I am currently on vacation and away from my computer most of the day but I’ll respond a bit more in depth when I return to my hotel room. Suffice it to say I’m glad to have some concrete things to look into and respond to. Right now I’m typing on my iPhone so I don’t have the ability to easily look into all the links posted above.

    But in brief, I will say this: if there is significant evidence against the AGW hypothesis then of course it ought to be taken into consideration. No hypothesis is beyond criticism.

    I’ll also talk more about regulations I think might be wise and those I think would be excessive. Suffice it to say neither I nor any of my friends believe in a command economy or an excessively regulated market. There are always tradeoffs and clearly regulation can introduce significant inefficiency.

    More later.

  64. Gringo Says:

    Mitsu
    I’ll also talk more about regulations I think might be wise and those I think would be excessive.
    Here are some hints for you.

    1)Go to a law library at a university and look at the hundreds of feet of volumes of laws and regulations, perhaps even thousands of feet.
    2) The many legislators, usually of the Democratic Party,who of late have admitted that they don’t bother reading pieces of legislation that can be up to a thousand pages long. One said it would be too confusing to read them.

    3)Or the recent book “Three Felonies a Day,” which states that the average citizen commits three felonies a day.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704471504574438900830760842.html
    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/09/28/three-felonies-a-day-say-it-aint-so-fellow-citizens/

  65. Oblio Says:

    Mitsu, the issue on the Fernandez link is not about AGW, it’s about good faith in handling and presenting the data. Focus on that.

  66. Mitsu Says:

    Okay, again, there’s a hell of lot above for one person to respond to, but I am going to try to address at least some of the points made, above.

    On first reading it appears the investigation of the tree ring data found in the link you provided, Oblio, is rather damning. I have read previously that the “hockey stick graph” had potentially serious methodological problems, however, and thus I’ve already been somewhat skeptical of it, speaking as a layman (I have some formal mathematical and scientific training, but this is obviously not my area of expertise). Evidence that the 20th century is experiencing significant warming from a historical standpoint, however, rests not only on tree ring studies, but on many other observations; for example, the massive retreat of glaciers around the world, melting of polar ice, the melting of permafrost in places like Alaska, surface and atmospheric temperature measurements, and many other sources. As for the handling of the data, I would really need to look into the matter in far more depth before concluding that what was going on was some sort of purposeful conspiracy to hide the truth — I can imagine many other potential reasons to do this, including the possibility that the researchers felt that the skeptics who were requesting the data would not use it in good faith, to other bureaucratic explanations. I do believe that the criticisms raised in that web page about this particular set of evidence (tree ring data) ought to be investigated fully by the scientific community, of course, but I also know the evidence for significant warming in the 20th Century rests on a massive amount of other observational evidence much of which is quite dramatic, as noted above.

    As far as whether the observed warming is due to human activity: one thing that is undisputed is that greenhouse gases are and have been rising at a prodigious rate. It’s also undisputed that if you look at a simple 1D model of the atmosphere, adding greenhouse gases would tend to trap more energy. Some conservatives have complained the climate is “complex” and thus we don’t know what the effect of all the complicated feedback processes might be by injecting large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere might be. Sure, it’s true that GCM models are inexact. But to my mind, the simple fact is, we can make a back of the envelope guess as to the amount of energy trapped by the additional greenhouse gases, and my question would be, why *wouldn’t* you expect all that energy to increase the average global temperature to some degree? If it doesn’t increase the temperature, where does the energy go? It seems to me, no matter how complex the feedback systems, roughly speaking, more energy is going to mean, on the whole, higher average global temperatures.

    Mind you I’m not saying there isn’t a way of answering this question that says that greenhouse gases will result in negligible increases in temperature. I’m simply saying that the base assumption by many conservative skeptics seems to be that the idea that we can have an impact on climate itself is unlikely or somehow dubious, but in fact the question really ought to be, how would one explain a negligible increase in temperature given all the extra energy that would be trapped in the atmosphere? It’s not impossible to answer this (i.e., perhaps it gets stored in the oceans somehow, etc.) but it does need an answer.

    At present the GCM models we have are the sum total of the best ideas we’ve got in terms of understanding climate, and while they vary in their predictions they pretty much all predict *some* significant rise in global average temperature. If they’re wrong, then it means our physical models have some massive holes in them; what are they?

    I should also note that some have pointed out that we do not do very well with long-term weather prediction, so why would we think we can do long-term climate prediction? The two problems are quite distinct; weather prediction is akin to trying to predict what number will come up when you roll the dice once; climate prediction is more like predicting the distribution of numbers that will come up over time when you roll the dice over and over again. The latter problem is far easier than the former.

    As for regulation, again I don’t claim any special expertise in finance, and I certainly am not attempting to convince any of you of the rightness of my intuitions on this subject. My sole aim in posting to this blog is to try to correct some of the extreme misconceptions about what “liberals” like myself actually believe and recommend. I.e., unlike the far left, we are not Marxists (I have had endless long debates with Marxists and I have my own complex reasons for thinking his analysis was flawed — in particular he tends to assume productivity is constant over time, he ignores the impact of technological and methodological changes on productivity, and thus assumes that sunk labor-time retains its relative value, which is the basis of his prediction of the eventual collapse of capitalism), I do not believe in central planning, I believe markets generally distribute goods and services more efficiently than central planning, etc. However… I do believe some regulation improves the overall stability and long-term effectiveness of the economy, I believe more regulation is warranted than most of you believe — but I certainly agree that there’s such a thing as too much regulation and too much bureaucratic, top-down interference in the market.

    So, let’s take a concrete example. Everyone talks about the repeal of Glass-Steagall these days as one of the bad moves that may have precipitated the instability we’ve seen recently. Some have suggested that the repeal of Glass-Steagall precipitated the financial meltdown. My view is that this is both right and wrong. It’s right in that it caused banks like Citibank to become heavily involved in mortgage-backed securities which as we all know now contributed greatly to the collapse of the market — previously Citibank would have been prevented from playing directly in this market, and one could argue that this would have prevented it from racking up nearly the same level of risk. However, one could also argue that the artificial wall set up by Glass-Steagall may be outdated, and while it may have stabilized some banks it might not have prevented the meltdown because the overall financial system would still have been vulnerable. Looking into the actual cause of this bubble, it appears to have been due to the improper use of a mathematical technique, the gaussian copula, which assumed that default correlation is constant over time. This is an incredibly stupid assumption that resulted in massive underestimation of the risk of mortgage-backed securities, which is, despite some of the claims noted above, the primary driver behind this particular bubble. (Some conservatives have pointed to some programs that were aimed at getting low-income families into mortgages as the cause of the crisis, but studies have shown that mortgages made under those specific programs have performed well, because they were subject to quite a bit of review, unlike the “no-doc” loans used to create mortgage-backed securities).

    The fact that ratings agencies misrated the risk due to a misuse of the Gaussian copula is a tricky one — would a regulatory agency have caught this? One obvious conflict of interest — the ratings agencies are paid by the very institutions issuing the security in question. So a ratings agency has a built in incentive to give more rosy ratings to a security than it might deserve. It seems to me some sort of regulation to address this conflict of interest may be warranted… to give ratings agencies some sort of economic incentive to rate securities accurately over the long term. In other words, I’d rather use the market to incentivize better behavior, rather than hoping regulators would have caught this error via direct oversight.

    Again I don’t have time nor inclination to lay out every thought I have on regulation: I am simply trying to illustrate the way I and many of my friends and other folks I talk politics and economics with tend to think about these issues. In other words: I am sympathetic to some conservative arguments in favor of the efficiency of the market, and against excessive regulation. I believe, however, that deregulation went too far, that too little regulation can open us up to cyclical instabilities that are disruptive and harmful. But I don’t hope to convince you of my view, as I said above: I merely hope to try to explain what my view is, and how I think about these things, i.e., I believe market mechanisms ought to be used as much as possible, regulation ought to be relatively minimal, it’s better to try to incentivize good outcomes rather than dictate them from above, etc., in other words I agree with many conservative principles. I simply disagree on what specific policies are, in fact, optimal for long-term growth and stability.

  67. Thomass Says:

    Mitsu Says:

    “The strange thing about this post, Neo, is that it is precisely how most of my friends view people on the right; a huge tendency to filter perception, editing facts to fit preconceived ideas of how things ought to be, a systematic tendency to oversimplify complex situations”

    Your friends? You assume Obama is ‘smarter’ than Bush based on no objective evidence. ‘Your friends’ extrapolations are based on the ‘conservatives are dumb’ narrative that ‘they’ believe and parrot to each other. If anything, your friends opinions here are another example of their groupthink.

  68. Mitsu Says:

    Oh, I promised to say something about a regulation I think would be excessive; in particular I wholeheartedly agree with this editorial in the New York Times that asserts that venture capital funds ought NOT be registered with the SEC along with other private capital firms, because such a regulatory change would stifle the world of American startups; and I entirely agree with this view. Venture capital funds, unlike other funds, do not pose systemic risks, don’t leverage their investments with debt, don’t employ hedging techniques, etc., so they ought to be, in my view, exempt from new regulation. To regulate venture firms I believe would impede one of the chief areas in which our country shines above most others: the area of economic innovation. Venture capital actually creates new businesses which create new real productive value, and it’s one domain where I believe more regulation is neither needed nor would it be beneficial.

  69. Mitsu Says:

    The editorial:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/31/opinion/31patricof.html

    Thomass slipped. Let’s just say that I hope that at some point we as a nation will be able to discuss political and economic issues across the partisan or left-right divide in a way that is driven at least to some degree by evidence, reason, and openness to contrary views, regardless of what you or I may think is the case today about our “side” or the other “side”.

  70. Thomass Says:

    Mitsu Says:

    “I’ve already expressed my views, that we ought to have more regulation, but there’s such a thing as too much regulation, and that determining what regulations are optimal ought to be based on careful analysis, empirical evidence, and historical case studies.”

    And if liberals did that, we wouldn’t have much disagreement. But… a lack of regulation is simply always (undefined and nebulous) brought up whenever there is a problem. If you press them on ‘what lack of regulation exactly’ they tend to not even have an answer (no one tends to press for an answer…). It’s pretty much another newspeak word with no rational thought behind it.

  71. Thomass Says:

    Mitsu Says:

    “I may think is the case today about our “side” or the other “side”.”

    Oh go cue a worthless and dishonest Obama speech about post partisanship… please… Non partisan to leftist is a like peace to a socialist… a lack of resistance.

    I live in the bay area and am surrounded by lefties. I know your talk about their open mindedness and reliance on reason is nonsense.

  72. Mitsu Says:

    >undefined and nebulous

    I just went into a few concrete examples in detail, above.

    >bay area and am surrounded by lefties

    Though I’m a liberal, I am not a Bay Area liberal/”lefty”. I think to a large degree Bay Area politics is way behind the curve, too politically correct, etc. Berkeley is a great example of what I believe is rather stagnant thinking on the left. I have friends on the left, and I sympathize with their aims, but I disagree with many of their ideas in terms of optimal policy.

  73. Black Mamba Says:

    This paragraph by Theodore Dalrymple is worth reading.

  74. Thomass Says:

    Good for your Mitsu. Anyway, I was not referring to you. But I do believe the ‘conservatives are all against most regulation’ meme is another groupthink thing. The majority are open to it if it is reasonable, works, and doesn’t infringe too far on economic freedom to outweigh its benefits.

    I have not read the article yet but I would encourage you to bring up the general subject the next time you’re talking to liberals blaming something on a lack of regulation. What regulation, exactly? Also, why is one side or the other to blame? Did someone introduce this and it was shot down? I imagine we’ve had enough time for people to find facts to fit their opinions regarding the financial meltdown (I did have fun when it was happening by bringing up these questions… and had some silly answers about the ‘deregulation’ and such…)… So maybe on the next issue on which regulation is made hay over…

  75. Mitsu Says:

    I don’t doubt that a large number of liberals you speak with are vague on policy details. But that’s the case for a large number of people on either side of the political divide. Most people are vague on policy because most people don’t think about policy in detail, whether liberal or conservative.

    I also have made it clear that I disagree with most on the far left in many cases; I believe Marx was wrong on a number of accounts, the Soviet Union was obviously a terrible totalitarian oppressive regime (although, I might add, most of the leftists I’ve known would agree with the latter).

    However, among the folks I read, and among my liberal friends with whom I have political conversations over dinner or online, etc., I can only say that details of policy really are what we like to talk about, including references to historical cases, empirical evidence, models, studies, etc. That’s how I think about this stuff and it’s how most of my (mostly well-educated) friends think about it. You might have had a different experience debating with the average liberal-on-the-street in Berkeley or whatever, but that’s certainly not me and it’s not most of the folks I read or take seriously in liberal circles. In other words, don’t judge liberalism on the basis of some ill-informed people who are making their political judgement based on knee-jerk reactions. We’re not all like that, though I admit some may well be.

  76. Thomass Says:

    Trust me Mitsu, I’m not.

    I’ve just yet to meet such a salon of well informed and empirical liberals. In person or in a current regular publication. But if I do, I’ll be sure to not prejudge them and be open to getting to know them better / listening.

    For now, the world I’m in is one where the conspiracy theorist Michael Moore was quite popular this last decade (although he probably has finally gone too far, even for Democrats, and is probably on his way out) and a Democratic president can quadruple the deficit before trying to take over the medical system… on top of an entitlement mess… with hardly a word from Democrats. All in all, one where they are not really empirical, logical, rational, or even connected to reality….

  77. br549 Says:

    I have yet to buy into CO2 being a “greenhouse gas”.
    There is much information on the subject to be found via Google, etc. One could decide to spend a weekend digging for it and by supper time Sunday would have enough information to make a reasonable assumption that AGW is pure horse manure.

  78. Gringo Says:

    Gray made a pretty good prediction of how Mitsu would respond to the hockey stick refutation.

  79. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Mitsu, I’m afraid your answer read almost comically along the lines that Gray predicted that it would. To start off with a question: why did you put the word “complex” into scare quotes? If you’re suggesting that climate is only “complex” for dumb conservatives, but “simple” for enlightened liberal folk such as yourself, you are revealing a bit more than I think you meant to about your grasp of the pertinent “facts.” Nobody who works in climate science (I don’t, just to be clear) would deny that the climate is, indeed, as complex a system as you could hope to find — nor would any intellectually-honest climatologist deny that nobody understands it very well. Just look, for instance, at clouds. Even though most models predict that increasing CO2 and/or temperatures will change the Earth’s cloud cover, even the IPCC admits that none of the models can be relied upon to successfully predict the effect of the change — because nobody knows what it will be! In science talk, whether the net effect of cloud cover changes will be to cool or warm the earth, or neither, is “not well understood.” The translation, without scare quotes, is that they don’t have a clue. Given most people’s everyday experience of the importance of clouds to daily weather, doesn’t their long-term effect on climate seem like a rather, ahem, important area of uncertainty? Other climate topics “not well understood,” among many, include the thermodynamics of the relationship between the oceans and the atmosphere (look into this, and you will find many who insist they understand it perfectly, very few of whom agree with one another on much of anything) and the effect of changes in solar activity on the earth’s climate. On this last issue, there’s a clear superficial correlation between sunspot activity and temperatures on earth, and no agreement whatsoever on what the mechanism of causation might be or even if there is a causative relationship. Meanwhile we’re in a current phase of historically-unusual diminished solar activity, following a similarly-unusual spate of heightened activity during the 20th century that largely tracks the increase in temps during that time — and nobody knows why it is happening or whether or how it is related to the possibly-coincidental pause in warming that occurred at the end of the century.

    With regard to your list of indicators of 20th century warming (which ended, at least temporarily, in 1998 without regard to continuing rapid CO2 increases since then), that’s a nice example of evasion by answering a different question than the one that was asked. You will find evidence of warming or cooling trends in many a century over millions of eons. What I asked you about is not evidence that climate changes. Of course it does, just as it always has. The problem is in analyzing the evidence that this particular change, unlike all the others throughout time, was caused by people. That’s the evidence that is becoming increasingly thin on the ground and that ought to be shaking the positive faith of at least a few of today’s AGW believers — if, that is, they are in fact, evidence- rather than faith-based thinkers.

    With regard to Yamal, you should really take a close look, as Oblio asked you to, at the question of chicanery with regard to the tree ring data. Nobody suggested a conspiracy, to use your word — quite the opposite — the question is one of individual scientific mendacity, and it is deadly serious. The scientist who put out the initial study actively refused to share his data for a DECADE, in complete contradiction of ordinary scientific practice, and would not have shared it yet if his hand had not finally been forced by the Royal Society. The researcher (just one) certainly did feel that those who asked for this data would not use it “in good faith.” He actually said something to that effect — “why should I share it when you’ll just use it try to find something wrong with my results?” If you know anything about how scientific research usually works, that is an absolutely breathtaking statement. The reason for the researcher’s fear is, of course, exactly the reason scientists usually DO share their data, because the effort of others to determine whether the original results can be duplicated from the data is critical to understanding whether or not the results are reliable. That effort was frustrated by this researcher until September of this year. The analysis of the finally-revealed data has just begun and it looks, as I understand it, most of the warming trend shown in the original study, which was critical to the “hockey stick” graph (an appropriate use of scare quotes if ever I saw one) and in turn critical to the IPCC’s conclusions, comes down to one tree. One tree! Just whose good faith should be called into question here? And when did the word skeptical become perjorative when applied, as you did here, to scientists? Once upon a time, skepticism was supposed to be their stock in trade — just as it ought to be for any evidence-based thinker.

  80. southernjames Says:

    I’m not sophisticated enough to know the subtle and nuanced differences between the hard core “Bay Area Leftists” (who appear to be running the country now) and your typical (allegedly) reasonable and rational liberal who likes to make fact based and logical decisions.

    My own problem with every single liberal I have ever met is the absolute, 100%, total — for want of a better word – disconnect – between their political philosophy and their own personal life pursuits, personal goals, and personal outlooks and approach to life. And the breathtaking lack of self-awareness (or denial) in this regard.

    Picture a trailer park white trash welfare “queen,” who is an absolute EXPERT at diligently extracting every single government (Federal, State, Local) free benefit for herself and her seven children, EACH of whom was fathered by a different boyfriend. WIC, AFDF, foodstamps, subsidized school breakfasts/lunches, govt daycare, medicaid, you name it, she’s goes after it…she even procreate just for the extra free money it brings in. She is relentless in her pursuit of other peoples tax dollars….yet never fills out a single job application. her life revolves around living off the government teat. And while her brood is away at daycare and school, she sits on the steps of her trailer and smokes pot.

    Yet……if you sit and talk to her, she espouses rabid Reaganite conservatism. She spouts off about “workfare instead of welfare,”…..the able-bodied should have to work if they want to eat…..”self reliance is what made America great”…..”drug pushers should be shot”…….”give folks a hand-up, not a hand-out.” ETC.

    Such a person does not exist. She is fictional.

    But the FLIP side of that, represents every single well-to-do, liberal I have EVER met. All foer big Nanny State government; “FAIR” taxation; spread the wealth; No Drilling for oil here; take care or the “working people” etc. etc. Yet they themselves, FOR themselves, are the most aggressive capitalists you would ever meet. More government means heavier taxation…..and Wall Street “greed” is “evil”…yet they aggressvely seek for themselves…..every single tax loophole, dodge, write-off, and avoidance scheme possible. And they love to discuss their OWN stock and 401K portfolios.

    They decry the oppressive government regulation that holds up their getting a Permit for their own kitchen remodeling job – -yet they campaign for politicians who push for ever more onerous regulations.

    They espouse pro-union views, and cry against child labor – yet drive a non-Union made Lexis or Volvo, and wear clothing make by ten-year old children in the far east.

    They profess to want “compassionate” immigration reform, representing senstivity to our hispanic brothers and sisters – a more “open borders” outlook — yet they THEMSELVES stay enclaved behind gated communities – No Mexicans (other than yard workers/housekeepers) are welcome.

    And on and and on and on.

    Socialism for thee, capitalism for me.

    Which is, I suppose, why they have no problem with say – Al Gore’s hypocrisy (green fanatic, yet PERSONAL hugh carbon footprint); Michael Moore, the successful capitalist who hates capitalism for others but not himself, etc.

    Every single well-to-do liberal I have ever mets is also EXTREMELY class conscious. To the point of being absolute elitist snobs – even tho they would be SHOCKED if anyone accused them of that, and in their denial would contest it vehemently. But in their world there truly are the “elite” who “deserve” to be feted and admired; and the ignorant common peasantry who need to be pitied – but ultimately RULED in order to help them – as they are obviously too ignorant to take care of themselves. But they do not SEE that in themselves.

    This is also, I believe, the source of their projection. The personality characteristics they they have, but do not SEE that they have — they project onto the motives of others. But this post has gone on too long. That’s another topic.

  81. Oblio Says:

    Wretchard continues on the cost of maintaining a lie.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/richardfernandez/2009/10/05/paying-for-the-black-helmet/#more-6260

    Mitsu, between Gray, Thomass, and especially Mrs Whatsit, you are busted.

    Now the question is, are you going to try to change the subject? Are you going to go back to your fantasy world of intellectualized virtue?

    Take the Red Pill.

  82. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Mitsu has one virtue: persistence.
    Look at the energy expended on discrediting the nonsense.
    Will there be the slightest change in Mitsu’s position? Of course not. Mitsu will continue and eventually find somebody gullible enough to buy this crap.
    I don’t get the math. Mitsu convinces a large number of people–presuming this sort of thing happens in other venues than neo’s blog–that he or she lies like a rug, on the off chance that somebody somewhere might actually believe. How does that net out to the good?
    Anyway, we will tire of this and Mitsu won’t.
    That’s the scary part.

  83. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu has another virtue: ignorance of the facts.

    Here’s a link for him
    http://biggovernment.com/2009/10/05/revenge-of-the-laffer-curve/

    Just pulling your chain Mitsu! :) You are the smartest dumb liberal I know.

    Gosh darn it. I’m pulling your chain again. You are the one liberal I know who can put so many big words in a paragraph but mean the least.

    Darn it. I’m so sorry. But if you do ever listen to us – I grant you you are really smart. :)

  84. Baklava Says:

    But neither the pres nor Mitsu (most any liberal) likes to listen.

    See this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6259582/Barack-Obama-furious-at-General-Stanley-McChrystal-speech-on-Afghanistan.html

    In the article was “direct words”. I’m sure ∅bama didn’t listen to the direct words. Absolutely sure. How about you Mitsu?

  85. JohnC Says:

    Yup – all of you bagged a liberal bug, just like I thought would happen. Good.

  86. Tom Says:

    The foregoing Mitsu-led run proves yet again that dialogue with the Other Side is fruitless. A total waste of time and energies by both sides.

    This is the time of the Blues and the Greys, with no border-state equivocation. The conflict will be physical and it will be bloody. If the Mitsus win, it will go hard with the losers. We must be equally determined. All that remains is the trigger pull, by whom and when, to suddenly release these two Tectonic plates.

  87. huxley Says:

    Mitsu: FWIW I read through your links and replied on the older Blame It On Rio thread here.

    I do believe that the criticisms raised in that web page about this particular set of evidence (tree ring data) ought to be investigated fully by the scientific community, of course…

    Good.

  88. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu, what do you make of this paragraph:

    At 11:10 am ET in the Rose Garden, “the President will welcome doctors from across the country to an event in the Rose Garden, where he will deliver remarks on the need for health insurance reform this year.” (They’re coming from every state, which means plenty of local-media pick-up.)

    in this article http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2009/10/capital-crunch-obama-confronts-waning-political-capital.html

    Can I point out that he isn’t welcoming doctors to hear them. He is welcoming doctors to deliver remarks to them. Do you see that or not see that?

  89. huxley Says:

    The foregoing Mitsu-led run proves yet again that dialogue with the Other Side is fruitless. A total waste of time and energies by both sides.

    Tom: I disagree. It’s just a longer song than gets settled in one blog post thread.

    I thank Mitsu for his participation. It’s hard work taking on several people at once in a discussion like this.

  90. Richard Aubrey Says:

    huxley.
    Do you presume Mitsu will really change his/her positions? Do you think Mitsu will get new, less-busted talking points?
    Do you think Mitsu will cease trying to mislead people as a result of this discussion?

  91. Mitsu Says:

    Like I said, I’m not trying to change your mind. I’m simply trying to correct some misconceptions you guys have about liberals. I.e., many of you seem to think that liberals are in general in favor of as much government regulation as possible, would in an ideal world prefer an economy run entirely by government fiat from above, etc., and that’s simply a ridiculous caricature of a Stalinism which not even my leftist friends espouse (in fact, Noam Chomsky and others advocate a sort of bottom-up libertarian anarchism, in fact, as do many of my leftist friends).

    I will, however, make a few comments. First of all, Gray’s “Mitsu emulator” included the following:

    “I don’t know anyone except the fringe rightwing that believes that man has no effect on the environment.

    Even if all the sources of data and models are incorrect, the danger of AGW is simply too great to do nothing, as many of my conservative friends advocate.”

    I don’t believe either of these statements. There are respectable scientists who question the AGW hypothesis. They are certainly in the minority, but obviously they exist. And it’s the height of absurdity to suggest that I or any climate scientist would assert that if ALL the data and models were incorrect, the danger of AGW is “too great to do nothing.” That’s ridiculous.

    In fact, it’s not clear to me, even, that radical reductions in CO2 emissions are necessarily the most efficient approach. It may well be that what some conservatives advocate (conservatives who accept that AGW may be happening), i.e., mitigation, may turn out to be more effective. Scientists are now discussing things like putting mirrors into space to deflect some solar output, etc. Some environmentalists think talk of these sorts of strategies may be dangerous because it could dampen support for carbon reductions, but I think we ought to investigate all possible mitigation strategies and choose the one that is the most efficient.

    My personal view is, however, that obtaining significant CO2 reductions would turn out to be a net boost for the economy; it would require increasing the efficiency of vehicles and industry, investigating more renewable fuels (which will improve our energy security and energy independence as well), etc. It would also involve lots of new technologies and new industries which would likely originate here in the US, another economic advantage for our country. Even if we didn’t have AGW to worry about it seems to me this would be a good idea.

    Whatsit is making some good arguments, which I’ll briefly respond to. The reason I put “complex” in scare quotes isn’t of course because I don’t think climate is complex. It’s simply because many conservative skeptics believe that, somehow, all the extra energy trapped under the CO2 is going to have some sort of mysterious effect which we cannot understand due to this complexity. But if you take the political edge out of this and just think about this from an engineering or technical point of view, the complexity does of course change the details of how the system will respond to the energy, but it doesn’t change the fact that there is more energy in the system. For example, even if cloud cover changes (as it most certainly would) if the temperature goes up, i.e., increased temperature causes more water vapor to evaporate causing more cloud cover causing more radiation to reflect into space… that at best will mean that clouds will dampen the effect to some extent, not prevent it. There will still be more energy in the system — i.e., that’s what causes, in that picture, more clouds to form in the first place. And keep in mind there are plenty of countervailing feedback processes as well — melting permafrost which melts snow which decreases light reflected back into space; and which also untraps CO2 in the frozen soil. In other words, precisely how much temperature will go up and what areas of the world will be affected is certainly subject to a lot of uncertainty, but the outcome that we’ll see virtually no change is, I believe, highly unlikely.

    Again — I’m not writing all this in order to convince — because I doubt I’m going to do that. I’m simply writing because I think there’s too little dialogue between right and left — liberals caricature conservatives and you guys caricature us. I don’t think that is good for the Republic.

  92. Mitsu Says:

    Oh — one more comment. The “1998″ figure is incorrect; 1998 was not the hottest year in recent history. Some conservatives point to this, but in fact 1998 was simply the hottest year *in the US*. In terms of world temperatures, 2007 was the hottest year on record. (There was another sensation when NASA admitted that 1934 was hotter than 2008 — but again, that was only in the US. In terms of world temperatures the last decade has been the hottest on record).

  93. huxley Says:

    Richard A: People rarely change their minds as a result of one discussion, but they may make adjustments. Over time these tiny changes may add up to a large change.

    I doubt that Mitsu will see this discussion as busting his positions. For instance, he is already suspicious of the Hockey Stick and he agrees that the Yamal tree ring issue should be investigated. He is correct that AGW doesn’t depend on the Hockey Stick.

    I don’t believe that Mitsu is trying to mislead people. He works from a different set of assumptions about the world and attends to a different set of facts.

    My main problem with Mitsu is that he is a bright, verbal guy who is so used to blowing past people in debates that he overvalues his own opinions and sometimes mistakes his opinions for facts.

    Mitsu aside, I think these discussions are important exercises and a lot safer than civil war. Participants can learn what arguments work and which don’t.

    Don’t forget that there are people reading these discussions who don’t participate but are trying to make up their minds. IMO it’s as important to pitch your arguments to those readers as the person whom you are debating.

  94. Mitsu Says:

    typo: I meant to type 1934 was hotter than 1998 — only in the US.

  95. Mitsu Says:

    Thanks, Huxley. Yes, of course I adjust my positions based on these discussions. In fact I sometimes think about my discussions here and bring some of what I’ve learned here into my discussions with my liberal friends. Mostly it’s when I see my liberal friends bashing conservatives in a way which I think is counterproductive — but that’s something. I really think the country would be better off if we talked to each other more.

  96. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Huxley,
    Seeing as Mitsu brought the oldest talking points on board to start with, the ones he knows are false, it does not occur to me that his agreement is other than cosmetic.
    He will, in my opinion, go back to spreading malarkey when he decides his audience is more gullible than he finds here.
    You’ll note a long article in American Thinker about the fakery in AGW, from both the CO2 increases and the deliberate deception in climate data. I’ll see if I can link it.
    This stuff is not new. If Mitsu has been paying attention, he knows it. He hopes we don’t. He may be a number of things, but ignorant isn’t one of them.
    One thing he doesn’t bother to see if we have figured out is that if we try to cut down CO2, other countries will be manufacturing what we quit manufacturing, which would be a wash at best but because the Third World can’t afford to be nice about such things, will be hugely more polluting.
    But the bright spot is that there will be more unemployed Americans dependent on the federal government which will be buying their votes with money stolen from generations to come, cementing their power.
    Well, off to the article to see if I, a techtard, can do a link.

  97. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Crap. No idea.
    Ace of Spades linked it, but he’s probably younger than I am.
    Or you can do directly to American Thinker.
    To see what Mitsu already knows.

    And Mitsu. I’m writing to convince you. I’m writing to convince you we know better already.

  98. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu lazily discounts the work of this man.

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

    http://www.climateaudit.org/

    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=cea34354-b1af-467b-9f49-4ef98f416e71

  99. Mitsu Says:

    Richard Aubrey,

    No, nothing I am writing here I “know is false”. If you think anything I’ve posted is false, feel free to post some countervailing evidence and I’ll look into it. What’s odd, here, though, in some of the comments I’ve seen, is that it exhibits this whole “my side vs your side” mentality which I think is so irrational and destructive. What possible motive would anyone have to want the AGW hypothesis to be correct, if the evidence is against it? Who would benefit?

    If AGW isn’t happening that would be a huge relief to a lot of people, certainly including me. I and most scientists in the world don’t think that’s the case. But, if the evidence is there, let’s talk about it.

  100. Mitsu Says:

    McIntyre’s analysis is what Oblio’s link was about.

  101. Baklava Says:

    Yes Mitsu. you lazily discount the work of that man

    From Oblio’s link is the following paragraphs I doubt you read:

    This became evident when Briffa’s data made its way into the light of day unnanounced. McIntyre was alerted to its existence by a reader who spotted it. Bishop continues, “eventually, though, Briffa’s hand was forced, and in late September 2009, a reader pointed out to McIntyre that the remaining data was now available. It had been quietly posted to Briffa’s webpage, without announcement or the courtesy of an email to Mcintyre.” And it was easy to see why the data was more comfortable in the shadow. Only 12 cores had been used as datapoints. This was it? Where were the rest? Attempts to rectify the fatal errors in the Yamal dataset were tried by McIntyre, but it remained a mess. The problem was eventually resolved when the “Schweingruber series called Khadyta River close by to Yamal” was discovered. Here was clean data from right next door.

    McIntyre therefore prepared a revised dataset, replacing Briffa’s selected 12 cores with the 34 from Khadyta River. The revised chronology was simply staggering. The sharp uptick in the series at the end of the twentieth century had vanished, leaving a twentieth century apparently without a significant trend. The blade of the Yamal hockey stick, used in so many of those temperature reconstructions that the IPCC said validated Michael Mann’s work, was gone.

    But Mitsu’s laziness remains…. :)

  102. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Mitsu:

    “Who would benefit?”
    You think I just got here?
    Motivation is difficult to prove and easy to lie about.
    I can speculate about motivation and if I say a person’s motivation for doing something nefarious is itself nefarious, it will be obvious I can’t prove it and so the discussion conveniently moves to me being a meanie about so-and-so and have no way to prove it. Rather than the original issue.
    Having stated that at the front, I’ll make a few points.
    Some people simply have too much time and think they have to be “doing something”.
    I have a relation who is not only clueless but actively clue-resistant who seems–I haven’t hit her with any sodium pentothal–to be operating on the basis that this puts her into the small-but-superior group. That’s how she picks her causes.
    Van Jones is not the only one to say that green is going to be used to destroy capitalism.
    A recent retiree, from, I believe, Sierra Club–might be wrong–said they lied about the Arctic being ice-free by 2030. Didn’t say anything about the reason, although fundraising is always a good bet.
    Some African leaders think they can extort money from the west by claiming injury due to global warming.
    Al Gore’s made a good bit at the thing.
    People in alternative energy–or farming corn–look for hefty subsidies. I recall when one of those passed a couple of years ago, Sen. Grassley was jumping around like a kid at Christmas. But corn-based ethanol is worse than fossil fuel gasoline, considering fertilizer, soil depletion, water for processing and so forth. No matter. Subsidies are what count.
    Wind power isn’t economical except to people who think electricity comes out of the wall. Always needs a subsidy. Somebody’s going to get that money.
    Severely reduced national prosperity satisfies people who think we (read, everybody else) has to suffer for various sins of the US and western society.
    Saw a picture of zero during the campaign looking at a roof with solar panels. Hell of a good idea. The effective life of the panels is about half the pay-off period. Figures. But somebody is making the panels, and inefficiency to subsidize inefficiency makes more people dependent on the government.
    Some people don’t like the esthetics of urban sprawl but realize that Joe Lunchbucket isn’t going to be guilted into living in rabbit warrens suitable for the betas, so they need a crisis to pass a series of zoning regs, laws, surcharges and so forth to make it impossible for Joe to live as he wishes on his own plot with his own house.
    Some people are simply ignorant and jump on the cause du jour. You may recall foam cups and table ware and the ozone hole hoax. I was associated with folks who got ALL hot and bothered about it. When I discovered, not all that hard to find out, that fluorocarbons weren’t used in the business, they were disappointed. Damn, another good mad gone to hell.
    Having said the foregoing and not exhausted the subject, the fact that we cannot prove the motivations of the liars does not mean their actions are not happening.
    Nice try, though.
    I don’t intend to be distracted.
    You know, you’d be a lot further ahead if it were not for what we used to call the signature effect of your first lame talking points. They proved you weren’t interested in a legitimate discussion.

    You can ask Schneider why he lied. Or Mann, or the other guys. Why ask me?

  103. Hy Rosen Says:

    As usual, RealClimate.com has the refutation of the latest denialist great white hope.

  104. Baklava Says:

    Hy,

    That was real nice.

    Just a wave of the hand with this paragraph:

    McIntyre has based his ‘critique’ on a test conducted by randomly adding in one set of data from another location in Yamal that he found on the internet. People have written theses about how to construct tree ring chronologies in order to avoid end-member effects and preserve as much of the climate signal as possible. Curiously no-one has ever suggested simply grabbing one set of data, deleting the trees you have a political objection to and replacing them with another set that you found lying around on the web.

    That was the meat of their argument.

    Following was a reproduction of OTHER graphs.

    Funny how it seems when data is found suspect the topic gets changed….

  105. Baklava Says:

    I think we can ALL agree that now that data is being looked at more heavily…

    … we may find other graphs fail/fall

    or not.

    The point is that the data’s credibility does have serious question.

    And…

    At the end of the day – after scrutiny – if some data shows slight warming and some show something different…

    …. the question remains – what should PUBLIC POLICY be?

    Leftists who want to put forth a big government answer to the crisis seize on this opportunity to push forward their misery making economic plans…

    Yet – their misery making economic plans may exacerbate the problem.. See Hy? or not to see? :)

  106. Hy Rosen Says:

    There is no hand wave – the researcher, Kenneth Briffa, explains why McIntyre is wrong, in a brief response linked by RealClimate.com. The other graphs are there to demonstrate that the evidence for global warming is multi-faceted.

    Just like evolution denialists and AIDS denialists and spherical Earth denialists and vaccine denialists, global warning denialists believe that there is a conspiracy of scientists who know the truth but are deliberately lying in order to further their evil ends, and that the whole edifice of lies can be brought down by finding that one key piece of data that will expose all. It’s utter nonsense, and a waste of time for all involved, for the scientists whose careful explanations are lost on a sensation-mongering press as well as for the denialists for whom no evidence will ever suffice.

    The claim that “the data’s credibility does have serious question” is false. Credibility does not become questionable on someone’s say-so, only on the presentation of valid evidence. Denialists assume the truth of what they wish is true, but that does not make it true. Rhetorical tricks of granting the possibility of “slight” warming so as to imply its lack of material effect similarly do not actually affect the truth of the projected amount of warming and its impact.

    What, if anything, is to be done is a wholly separate question from whether the effect exists. I expect that since the effect is slow-acting and imperceptible without instrumentation, nothing substantive will be done.

  107. Baklava Says:

    Last two paragraphs read:
    We have not yet had a chance to explore the details of McIntyre’s analysis or its implication for temperature reconstruction at Yamal but we have done considerably more analyses exploring chronology production and temperature calibration that have relevance to this issue but they are not yet published. I do not believe that McIntyre’s preliminary post provides sufficient evidence to doubt the reality of unusually high summer temperatures in the last decades of the 20th century.

    We will expand on this initial comment on the McIntyre posting when we have had a chance to review the details of his work.

    Hy, Your second paragraph is out of bounds and makes you look desperate.

    This is the 5th finding to my knowledge that data is corrupt and needed correcting.

    Throwing more charts at the wall does not invalidate that fact. For once, I’d like somebody like you to admit that 5+ times temperature data is being MESSED with without your hyperbole.

    You only make yourself LOOK BAD.

    We ALL want the truth.

    And again… We all want to move forward with GOOD POLICY not leftist policy. Deal with that.

  108. Baklava Says:

    You want policy of misery.

  109. rickl Says:

    Anyone who uses the epithet “denialist” when discussing a purported scientific topic is not to be taken seriously.

    I have maintained all along, for years now, that the sole purpose of “global warming” is the destruction of capitalism and the institution of world socialism. That should be bloody obvious to everyone by now. It has NOTHING to do with science or climate.

    Green is the new Red.

  110. Oblio Says:

    Wretchard underscores the critical point in his comments section.

    So it may in fact be the case that the Hockey Stick exists, but the chances are that it won’t feature Yamal. I think Briffa has as much as conceded that it’s teetery leg to stand on and is out in search of more crutches, which is fine. The real news here is how resistent the Establishment was to the ordinary operation of the scientific method. They’ve turned what should have been an empirical question into a dogmatic controversy. [emphasis added.]

    Perhaps all of us are condemned to believe only what we want to believe. But in that world, not even the experts will be able to muster the required moral authority that comes from being disinterested. I hope that is not the case, because it points to the way to a world even more awful than the one in which we live. And neo reminds us that even though minds are hard to change, sometimes we do change our minds, as many of us have experienced.

  111. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Mitsu said: “The “1998″ figure is incorrect; 1998 was not the hottest year in recent history. Some conservatives point to this, but in fact 1998 was simply the hottest year *in the US*. In terms of world temperatures, 2007 was the hottest year on record.”

    Can you support this with a link, please, Mitsu? I am short of time today and have looked but can’t find anything to confirm this. I do find announcements made by NASA in early 2008 to the effect that 2007 tied with 1998 as the hottest year worldwide (not just for the US) as measured by GISS (which suffers from numerous reliability issues such as repeated manipulation of the original data that keeps changing temperature results for long-past years, but never mind) I can’t find anything for any of the other entities measuring world temperature (UAH, RSS, et al) that doesn’t show a big spike for ’98 not followed by anything comparable thereafter — but I don’t have time for a good search, so, link, please.

    “. . . sensation when NASA admitted that 1934 was hotter than 2008 — but again, that was only in the US. In terms of world temperatures the last decade has been the hottest on record).”

    I believe it was 2007 that 1934 beat out for the warmest year in the US. 2008 was one of the cooler years of the past decade, though as Mitsu correctly points out, all of them have been warm.

    One more thing: I made a significant error in my first post to Mitsu. That comment I paraphrased by the researcher who did not want to share his data because others might use it to call his results into question was NOT in fact, made by the Yamal tree researcher (Briffa, I believe his name is.) Although Briffa certainly did passionately resist disclosing his data until the Royal Society (not a hotbed of global-warming skepticism) forced him to, the paraphrased comment was made by Phil Jones of CRU, a different researcher who was resisting providing a different set of original data to other scientists — and who, as it later proved, had lost or destroyed the original data, which is now apparently lost forever. This is “just” the data which formed the world’s first comprehensive history of world surface temperatures, used as the primary reference standard by the IPCC until 2007. No records were kept of the many adjustments made in the data by Jones and his partner Wrigley after they got it and before they used it in their research, so what was in that original data and whether the adjustments made by Jones and Wrigley were correct will never be known. That’s okay, though — who needs actual evidence in order to be an evidence-based thinker, after all?

    In any event, I seriously regret misattributing the quotation. Wish I could go back and edit the comment itself to highlight the correction.

  112. rickl Says:

    You know President Eisenhower’s farewell speech to the nation? The one best remembered for his warning about the “military-industrial complex?

    Well, there was another part that warned about the domination of scientific research by Federal funding. I just learned about it recently:

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

    Link

  113. Oblio Says:

    Wretchard continues on the second thread I linked:

    The characteristic of all doomed polities is not the presence of lies, since “all people lie”, but the denial of the existence of the truth. Hence the adage “those who the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”. Madness ultimately means a divorce from reality; an inability to comprehend or acknowledge the existence of the truth.

    Just so. The truth is out there.

  114. Gray Says:

    You guys are seriously trying to debate in good faith with that f’in moron?

    You are trying to rationally talk him out of something he irrationally needs to believe?

    On a thread titled “The willingness to believe that two plus two makes five”?

    After he has shown he is willing to mentally shift and flex such that 2 and 2 always makes whatever he needs it to make?

    Really?

    He will never run out of mendacity and lies, but you will run out of research studies and truth. The truth is finite. Lies are endless and boundless.

    If you are willing to lie, 2 + 2 = anything, everything, whateverthing.

    The truth is: 2 + 2 = 4. Only 4.

  115. Gray Says:

    The moral of this stupid-assed story is that some people must be tortured into believing 2 + 2 = 5.

    However, others must be tortured into believing 2 + 2 = 4.

    Either way, it’s about power. Truth (obviously if you’ve read this thread) has no power of its own….

    The unfortunate truth is the filthy left understands power; its roots and its ends. The dopey-assed right would rather argue, in good faith, about the value of 2 + 2, mistakenly believing that truth has a power of its own.

  116. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Hey,, Mitsu. Should we get rid of the Medieval Warm Period? The Holocene Maximum?
    What, exactly, went wrong during the MWP? What will go wrong if we reach that again?

    Got some friends whose son is a young PhD in some environmental science. They were pleased his colleagues thought well of him. Not his science. He got a huge grant for the lab. There are certain subjects not going to get grants very easily, and questioning AWG is one of them.
    Follow the money.

    Let’s see. Bush planned the Iraq op poorly. Truman got blindsided twice in Korea. Did Torch go well? Anzio? FDR’s fault? The Bulge caught a lot of people napping? Blame Ike? Monty? FDR?
    Forget it, Mitsu, you gave yourself away first shot.

  117. Oblio Says:

    Excellent summary, Gray. Do you think we have tortured Mitsu enough? Or does it feel like we are torturing you?

    I guess I am with Wretchard: there is a cost for denying the truth, and the longer the denial, the greater the cost. The question is simply, when does the cost become unbearable?

  118. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Trying to argue with Mitsu and such like is a waste of time if you’re trying to change their minds. They know better.
    They act as if they can be persuaded and so conservatives, thinking this is a good-faith discussion, exhaust themselves and…no change.
    The implication of good faith was a lie.
    As I said on another post, I prefer to tell them I and pretty much everybody else knows better.
    I figure it might make them think about what they’re doing.
    It’s one thing to tell a lie that nobody can spot. Maybe it’s a bad idea to try to fool people with stuff they already know is wrong and thus prove yourself a liar.

  119. Gray Says:

    I guess I am with Wretchard: there is a cost for denying the truth, and the longer the denial, the greater the cost. The question is simply, when does the cost become unbearable?

    Nonsense. Denying the truth is always more bearable than The Truth. The truth is unbearable.

    You’re going to die whether you are denying the truth or not. Denying it usually just makes life more bearable in the meantime.

    Look at Mitsu: he’s quite happy believing Global Warming nonsense, in fact he needs to believe in it for some reason. He’ll be happy paying more for enegry, creeping around in a sweater and driving a clown car. Meanwhile, you know the truth, but you will pay the cost….

    You’ll be forced to drive a clown car, creep around in a sweater, just like Mitsu and the other believers, and they will be happy and you will be unhappy because you know the truth.

  120. Gray Says:

    “No, Winston, that is no use. You are lying. You still think there are four. How many fingers, please?”

    “Four! Five! Four! Anything you like. Only stop it, stop the pain!”

    The Truth doesn’t mean shit if you are powerless.

  121. Gray Says:

    From “The Telegraph”, UK:

    “President Barack Obama has refused to meet the Dalai Lama in Washington this week in a move to curry favour with the Chinese.”

    “It means Mr Obama will become the first president not to welcome the Nobel peace prize winner to the White House since the Dalai Lama began visiting Washington in 1991.”

    “Truth” don’t mean shit if you are powerless.

  122. huxley Says:

    I don’t see how people here can be so certain that Global Warming is false (which is not the same thing as saying Global Warming is true).

    Global Warming is not a bad story in itself. Greenhouse gases do trap heat and cause warming, humanity has increased the amount of greenhouse gases significantly, the planet has warmed noticeably, so perhaps we are responsible for the recent warming and as we continue to increase these gases the planet will warm more and at some point that warming will become problematic.

    Sounds reasonable to me. Sure, put some scientists on it and have a look.

    Of course, the devil is in all sorts of details, and Global Warming has problems as many people in this thread have pointed out.

    But that doesn’t mean that Global Warming is false or nonsense. It just means that the science is not settled or well understood, as the GW advocates claim with such fervent intensity.

    Furthermore it’s not clear what we should do even if Global Warming were, to whatever extent, true. There is a huge cost/risk/benefit discussion that advocates largely ignore and instead rush to poorly thought-out draconian measures like cap-and-trade.

  123. Gray Says:

    humanity has increased the amount of greenhouse gases significantly, Bullshit: a fraction of a percent is not significant.

    the planet has warmed noticeably Bullshit: The earth is cooling; it has been for the past decade or so.

    But people need to believe that bullshit to make the forced costs and forced actions not seem so odious; another case of truth being unbearable.

  124. logern Says:

    Link to Gray’s telegraph article

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/6262938/Barack-Obama-cancels-meeting-with-Dalai-Lama-to-keep-China-happy.html

    Quote from article:

    [b]Lodi Gyaltsen Gyari, the Washington-based special envoy to the Dalai Lama, issued a brief statement, saying: “We came to this arrangement because we believe that it is in our long-term interests.”

    A White House official said the administration and the Tibetans had “agreed the timing would be best after the visit”. [/b]

    In case you don’t know who Gyari is.

    [b]Currently he is the Special Envoy of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Mr. Gyari is the lead person designated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to commence negotiations with the Chinese Government. Mr. Gyari is also the Executive Chairman of the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet, an independent Washington based human rights advocacy group. [/b]

    Gray cares about truth? Who can tell?

  125. Gray Says:

    Gray cares about truth? Who can tell?

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

    Ahso, You rearn werr, grasshoppah.

  126. huxley Says:

    Gray: No on both counts.

    The earth has warmed noticeably for 1970-2000. Since then it’s been going sideways with a spike downward in the past couple years. It’s too early to say whether the current cooling spike will stick. That’s why scientists look at moving averages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.svg

    The amount of carbon dioxide has increased by about 35% since the beginning of the Industrial Age. That is a significant increase. I’d have to look up other GH gases.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_Dioxide_400kyr.png

    For my money, you express yourself crudely and incautiously.

  127. rickl Says:

    The most important greenhouse gas of all is water vapor.

    Should the government regulate that too?

  128. Gray Says:

    Gray: No on both counts.

    It’s too early to say whether the current cooling spike will stick. That’s why scientists look at moving averages.

    I said it was cooling over the past decade or so, and no, it isn’t noticeable or we wouldn’t need thermometers accurate to a tenth of a degree….

    The amount of carbon dioxide has increased by about 35% since the beginning of the Industrial Age. That is a significant increase. I’d have to look up other GH gases.

    Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you didn’t understand statistics…..

    CO2 can be 35% more than the beginning of the industrial age, but that still amounts to a fraction of a percent total, as I said. No one really understands the “CO2 Cycle”, or if it is really a cycle at all….

    So, by your own evidence, I am right on both counts, but I have no power to make you believe that I am right so it doesn’t really matter.

    For my money, you express yourself crudely and incautiously.

    Incautiously? Is that an invitation to a duel? I’m just sick of the bullshit.

  129. Baklava Says:

    huxley wrote, “But that doesn’t mean that Global Warming is false or nonsense.

    Yep. It’s what I said. Then it comes down to what POLICY we want to implement as a “solution”.

    Leftists want policy of misery… Policy of misery which will exacerbate the situation actually.

    Yes, more CO2 is in the air and we should try to figure out a way change that factor. But not with leftist misery solutions.

    Carbon dioxide is an output for burning anything carbon based,
    Natural Gas
    Coal
    Oil
    Diesel
    Corn
    Petroleum

    Everything

    The only solutions are:
    1) Something that can be constant and powerful enough to power our energy needs and NOT COST SO DAMN MUCH !!!

    That x’s out solar and wind. Sure they can be done in moderation but as they aren’t constant and low cost we need to invest in hydro and nuclear – environmentalists hate that.

    The answer is not to punish people who use all of the carbon based fuels above. That will impoverish more people faster. More people will die because of these leftist policies than if we did nothing. That’s where Bjorn Lomborg’s arguments come in.

  130. Baklava Says:

    Everything we do requires CO2.

    If we tile our bathroom – CO2 was required to manufacture the tile, grout, thinset, sponge, bucket, trowel, etc. Each manufacturer shipped things and made the things.

    If we do anything including buy a Mariah Carey CD we create CO2. If we buy food, talk to somebody on the phone, use this computer and type stuff to each other,

    Short of living in a mud hut and barely breathing (no exercise) we will be using CO2.

    CO2 is a factor of being so wealthy as a nation. Each and every health procedure, part for the Toyota Prius, and farming to give food to everybody and defense of all the terrorists in this world…. all require CO2.

    CO2 powers our country. We are a prosperous nation and short of giving up our prosperity… we will not solve the CO2 issue. Coal makes 1/2 of our electricity. Whether Diesel, corn, biofuels, regular gas – it all makes CO2 (and other pollutants – diesel spits out more pollutants that gas)

    Look people. I am not interested in submitting to leftists ideology with respect to impoverishing this nation and making it unsafe. I’ve done 7 tiling projects and will be doing an 8th.

    I have a minivan and am not buying a new vehicle until that thing falls apart which will be 10 more years. It drives like new and is 10 years old.

    Leftists need to act like human beings and let us live without trying to punish each and every one of us for doing more than sitting in a mud hut and barely breathing.

  131. huxley Says:

    Apropos of an earlier discussion….

    Last night I reinstalled the Britannica on my computer and discovered this passage on neoconservatives [with my emphases]:

    At this point a new group of mainly American conservatives, the so-called “neoconservatives,” arose to argue that the chief factors discouraging economic growth were high levels of taxation and the government’s intrusive regulation of private enterprise. Inspired by the work of free-market economists such as Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman, they generally accepted a minimal welfare state—something an older breed of conservative would never have done—and fought simply for reductions in social benefits and government spending (except spending on the military), lower taxes, and less government regulation of business. They also shared little of earlier conservatives’ isolationist tendencies and protectionist impulses. Indeed, many of them argued that the United States had a right to intervene in the affairs of other nations in order to combat the influence of Soviet communism and to advance its own national interests; some even claimed that the United States had a duty to remake the non-Western world on the model of American democratic capitalism. In economic matters, neoconservatives were often hard to distinguish from classical liberals of the 19th century, who had likewise urged a minimum of government intervention in the economic life of nations. Among American political leaders, the chief representatives of neoconservatism were Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

  132. Gray Says:

    Yes, more CO2 is in the air

    Not by total percentage. It’s 0.038% of the atmosphere fer f sakes–378 parts per million! If we added 35% more since the dawn of the (terrible) industrial revolution, we added precisely squat and no one can even prove we added it! .

    The way they measure past CO2 is a total scam having to do with glacial ice outgassing rates which no one actually agrees on and are not empirically tested over long periods.

    The second scam is the ‘normalization’ secret sauce the warmists pour on the raw temperature data to make up for ‘heat-island’ and certain “measurement drift” to specifically make it look like it is warming ‘cuz everyone knows its warming ‘cuz of the increased CO2 based on glacial ice outgassing! It’s that stupid!

    that means we added and we should try to figure out a way change that factor.

    It does not. No one even knows if we even added to CO2 levels ‘cuz se can’t know past levels for sure. No one even knows if CO2 is a lagging or leading indicator to temperature rise; if it is causation, strong correlation, weak correlation or merely coincidental. To top it off: Teh Earth, she is cooling. If you use a different normalization factor for the raw temperature recordings, you can show a marked cooling over the past several decades.

    It is horseshit. It is an absolute and complete lie and most people are too mathematically and scientifically iliterate to understand what an actual pernicious, unfounded, damnable lie it is!

  133. Mitsu Says:

    Okay, you guys are simply repeating the McIntyre analysis of the tree ring data which I’ve already said looks credible enough that it deserves serious consideration. However, I’d already heard about problems with the “hockey stick” graph in the past, so this isn’t exactly earth-shattering for me. The evidence for warming goes far beyond that one data set.

    As for the 1934 vs 1998 vs 2007 question: you can read more about the 1934/1998 question here:

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070815212305AABTBcK

    As for 2007 being the warmest, that was based on some Japanese research I read about a while ago. I see via Google that NASA says 2007 was the second-warmest on record. In any event the last decade was by far the warmest on record, overall:

    http://climateprogress.org/2008/12/07/very-warm-2008-makes-this-hottest-decade-in-recorded-history-by-far/

    2008 was comparatively cooler than 2007 but still the eighth warmest:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090116163206.htm

    Again I could care less whether AGW is actually happening or not; if it isn’t, great! It would be a huge relief. And I certainly don’t doubt some people have become entrenched in their views about this. But: I certainly haven’t, and I think this ought to be an empirical, scientific question, not a political one.

    Finally, some of you may have missed the fact that above I stated that I believe that strategies other than CO2 reduction are worth considering, including mitigation as well as even exotic ideas like mirrors in space (which are actually being discussed as we speak).

  134. Gray Says:

    Jeez, I’m testy tonight. Sometimes, I let it get to me.

    I haven’t been able to go to they gym for several days ‘cuz of a cold, but I am enjoying a hot toddy with plenty of scotch and that is starting to mellow me out a little.

    Global Warmism is faith-based ‘cuz the science isn’t there. And de earf? She is cooling–has been for a while….

  135. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu wrote, “nd I think this ought to be an empirical, scientific question, not a political one.

    Exactly. Come back in a decade.

    And bring to me ideas that aren’t leftist misery non-Bjorn Lomborg ideas….

    Really – because the amount of money you want to spend on mirrors in space can be spent on national security, letting us keep more of what we earn, and solving real problems….. Yes. Real.

  136. Gray Says:

    As for 2007 being the warmest, that was based on some Japanese research I read about a while ago. I see via Google that NASA says 2007 was the second-warmest on record.

    Do you know why they always used that term “on record”? Do you know when that ‘record’ started, how the record was developed, what it was based on and how it was normalized to match empirical temperature measurements?

    No? Neither does anyone else. It is a fabrication based on untested assumptions. No one can actually show the ‘recent warming’ isn’t a data processing artifact, which it likely is.

  137. Gray Says:

    As an engineer, I work with lots of data, thermodynamic systems, data reduction, recording, Software…. All kinds of crap, really.

    If someone showed me a graph of a supposedly natural system with unknowns, feedbacks and unknown feedback mechanisms that had a weird ‘knee’ in them like the temperature graphs in Mitsu’s links, I would say:

    “Natural systems don’t work like that. Go look at your data or the data reduction, you have something wrong.”

    No scientist type, warmist has ever explained to me why the data looks so very ‘wrong’ for a natural system other than saying: “Clearly it is your fault! Repent!”

  138. Gray Says:

    No. No. No. How many times must I explain what the study actually said

    Very scientific link, Mitsu. Sounds like a real well researched and reviewed science journal there…. He even gets the term “Warming Denier” in there a few times….

    I would call you a name for being so gullible, but the scotch is mellowing me out.

  139. Gray Says:

    Dear God, one of Mitsu’s links, climateprogress.org, is a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

    That’s George Soros.

  140. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    huxley, the problem with your reasonable remarks is that science has been distorted by the hysteria around this issue to such a point that, just for thinking calmly and rationally about the topic as you have, you are dismissed as a “denialist” by those we used to call scientists. Take Hansen, the NASA physicist who wants to try oil company executives for treason and who calls coal-fired power plants “factories of death.” Or our President, for that matter, who never pretended to be a scientist but ought to have some grasp of what words like “uncertainty” mean, who is out there on video saying he wants to bankrupt the coal companies and make people’s electric rates skyrocket– and who actually believes that kneecapping the economy this way would generate wealth to be used for the development of alternative energy sources!

    Now, Mitsu. I hope you don’t usually conduct your evidence-based thinking based on Japanese research you half-remember from a while ago and that nobody can find now — or based on info from Yahoo! Answers, either. Otherwise, the rest of your points are merely restatements of the same points you already made that STILL have nothing to do with the questions you were asked. As a reminder, they were 1) where is the evidence (not nice-sounding CO2 theory — evidence — that means facts) that people have caused the recent warming and 2) whether any of those doctrinaire Democrat evidence-based friends you mentioned at the start of this discussion have rethought their positions on AGW at all.

    On this last question, it is a copyrighted Mitsu specialty, well-reproduced by the Gray Emulator, to persist in answering questions other than the one that was originally asked, while pretending otherwise, in the hope that eventually everybody will forget the original question. I’m not asking it again in the hope you’ll answer it. I know why you’re not answering it — your doctrinaire friends not only haven’t readjusted their positions to reflect the recent changes in the evidence, they don’t even know about the changes. I am just laying out the question one more time in order to make perfectly clear to you that I realize how hard you have worked to avoid answering it. So, just for rhetorical purposes, one more time: Have any of those evidence-based friends of yours mentioned any changes in their thinking on AGW in response to the numerous serious recent challenges to what little data there is to support the claim that people are causing it?

  141. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Been reported that Soros gave Hansen a quarter mill.
    That report was about the time NASA was forced to admit their numbers about 1998 vs. 1934 were wrong. Took some effort. Whether it was valid for the US or the world is one question. Why Hansen’s department insisted on the wrong number at all is the important one.

  142. Mitsu Says:

    I was in a rush to post some links since I was in the airport about the board my plane. Here’s the global mean temperature graphs from NASA directly, which clearly show the last decade as by far the warmest in recorded history:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

    Here’s another article discussing the warmest year globally, as well as the warmest years in the US:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080116114150.htm

    Again, as I said above; 1934 was only the warmest year on record in the US — not globally.

    If all you read are “global warming skeptics” you may well come away with the impression that the “science isn’t there”. But if you read a broader range of scientific sources, as I do, the evidence looks quite different. I really do encourage all of you to look in detail not only at websites you already agree with, but look at a broader range of sources. Yes, I agree that the McIntyre analysis looks good, but there’s a lot of other data out there, many other studies, many other measurements, models, etc., and if you really want to look at the science, look at a broad cross-section of sources.

    Again, in my opinion, the evidence is pretty strong that AGW is a major factor in climate changes in the last century. It isn’t the only factor; there are plenty of other things to take into account. But I believe the evidence is strong that it is a major factor. Look into it for yourself, beyond just partisan sources.

  143. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Oh come ON Mitsu. Yes, we have all agreed with you lots and lots of times that it has gotten very warm recently. Nobody has disagreed with you that the last decade is warm by our (recent, unreliable) records. Nobody has disagreed with you that the 1934 numbers apply only to the US. None of that addresses causation, since there is plenty of evidence out there that the earth has been far warmer than it is now many, many times in the geological past when people could not possibly have caused it. Your answer is clear: you have no evidence of human causation, you don’t care that you have no evidence, and you are an evidence-based thinker only inside your own head.

  144. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Further, you have no evidence whatsoever for your patronizing belief that the rest of us read only “global warming skeptics” and sites we already agree with. If that were so, it would be hard to explain why some of us have changed our minds from the beliefs we originally held (where did we get those original beliefs? What could have caused us to change our minds if we never consider information we might disagree with?) and why others of us are as familiar as we are with the positions taken by those we disagree with and with the sites where those positions may be found. You have no basis other than your own condescending belief in your own superiority for making such a claim. Can’t help noticing that when you are pressed to cite the broad range of scientific sources that you, in your grandness, rely upon, you come up with invisible Japanese research and Yahoo! and only under pressure, some scientific sources that — oops — contradict your original claims.

    Please see if you can confine your conclusions to those supported by facts, at least in places where you have preened yourself on your superior capacity to do so.

  145. Richard Aubrey Says:

    So, Mitsu. Would things be better if the world reverted to a climate level equivalent to the Little Ice Age?
    Where I live the average temperature for the last million years is under half a mile of ice. I prefer the current situation.
    Still, the upper midwest has had a two-three weeks’ delay in crop maturity due to cool weather.
    Lake Michigan is up about a foot over the last few years.
    This is the first year where I never, not one day, went into an air-conditioned building with a sense of relief. We got central air about ten years ago, have been using it less and less each year, as unnecessary.
    South America’s last couple of winters in the mountains have featured some temperatures far below the average, causing deaths and relocation of some families to temporary shelters with better heat.
    I’m not even going to agree, given other stats, that the last decade has shown warming. It depends on the start-finish years which can be chosen for convenience.
    I recall as a kid growing up not far from here the frequent weeks of 90 degrees plus. Hasn’t hit 90 here even once in a couple of years.

    Cap and trade is going to ruin the economy, putting huge amounts of money in its supporters’ hands and centralizing more power.

    All due to the AGW hoax which can’t even prove GW, much less the A piece of it.

  146. huxley Says:

    Again, in my opinion, the evidence is pretty strong that AGW is a major factor in climate changes in the last century.

    Mitsu: In my opinion, it’s likely that there is something to AGW.

    But your “pretty sure” and my “likely” are not at all the same as Obama’s “The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear.”

    There are plenty of reputable scientists, more and more of them in fact, disputing AGW, and the facts, such as the Hockey Stick tree ring data, increasingly are shown to be fudged and in bad faith.

    (After listening to Obama on the Iraq War, the surge, his waffling on Afghanistan, his misrepresentations and lies about healthcare, and his persistent straw man attacks in his speeches. I say that Obama is the most “bad faith” president we’ve had since Nixon.)

    So sure, let’s study AGW more and when the advocate scientists get their data in line and properly released with methodology, plus models that can work going backwards and forwards, they can get back to us before we pass hurried monstrous bills capable of crippling the economy.

  147. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Some evidence for Mitsu on a completely different subject that, based on some of his earlier postings here, I believe he cares very passionately about indeed:

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/10/06/us_cutoff_of_funding_to_iran_human_rights_cause_signals_shift/?page=1

    What, pray tell, might cause such an intelligent and principled person as Obama to do such a thing?

  148. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Mrs. Whatsit.
    Not any more.

  149. Baklava Says:

    Idi∅t

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9B5EP300&show_article=1&catnum=3#

  150. Baklava Says:

    Mitsu probably agrees with Apple

    http://greenhellblog.com/2009/10/05/if-apple-was-really-concerned-about-the-environment/

  151. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Reading further into Wretchard’s post and comments on lying….
    It occurred to me that one of the aspects of promoting affirmative action is to lie.
    UMich lied. They lied from behind UM podiums and on UM letterhead. When Carl Cohen used FOIA to get out the truth–that blacks were being given free points in excess of points awarded for maxing the ACT–the UM folks didn’t say, “oops”. Didn’t say “sorry”.
    They simply started on why what they claimed not to have been doing all along was a fine idea to have been doing all along.
    Since then, various schools have changed to more subjective evaluations and the evaluators have to lie.
    They have to look at people who know they are lying and lie. “No, really. This kid has more potential, which I can tell from the essay. Race has nothing to do with it.”
    They have to lie as a condition of employment. They have to do so under the gaze of people who they know know it’s all lies.
    I suppose a good leftie doesn’t mind.
    The others must have to drink heavily or something.
    And, of course, such lies are not restricted to the issue of Affirmative Action.

  152. The Real Jeff Says:

    I will start believing the GW Matra and religion as soon as they have a credible explanation as to why other planets in the solar system were warming at the same time we were. Is this proof that the little green and purple aliens drive SUV’s too?

  153. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Real.
    Yeah. It’s Bush’s fault.

  154. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I should point out that Mitsu and such like, like Gore, don’t expect to be paying any price.
    Like Kennedy making sure offshore wind turbines didn’t mess up his skyline, the lefties all think they’ll escape the price imposed on the rest of us.
    They’re wrong. Most of them will suffer, too, not having gotten on board the scam as early and as well-connected as Gore did. They’ll deserve it, but the rest of us won’t.

  155. Hy Rosen Says:

    Speaking of global warming, and of minds being difficult to change, Little Green Footballs also points to RealClimate.com’s refutation of the tree-ring denialists.

  156. huxley Says:

    Hy Rosen: The LGF and RealClimate pages are not refutations but complaints, rather unpleasantly expressed (“rectally inserted suicide bomb” courtesy of Charles Johnson at LGF), about the current web attacks on the Hockey Stick based on Briffa’s tree ring data selection that Steve McIntyre uncovered.

    When one follows their chain of links to the so-called refutation, one finds Briffa’s non-response response in which Briffa jabbers about “corridor standardization” and “Regional Curve Standardization” then admits “We have not yet had a chance to explore the details of McIntyre’s analysis”.

    Naturally Briffa does not explain why he has suppressed release of this data and methodology for almost ten years in spite of McIntyre’s persistent requests.

    For a substantive response to Briffa see the Response from Briffa on the Yamal tree ring affair – plus rebuttal at the always excellent Watt’s Up With That — some of the best material about climate change et al.

  157. Mrs Whatsit Says:

    Yes, thanks, Hy, most of us have probably seen the Real Climate post in the several days since it appeared. Here’s a link to Steven McIntyre’s refutations of the refutations, which I’ll bet you will never find linked from Real Climate, where the usual practice is to delete opposing opinion rather than to link to it.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/

  158. huxley Says:

    Whatever the final verdict on AGW may be, there is no getting around the fact that the proponents of AGW have been busted repeatedly for playing squirrelly games with the scientific method, politicizing science, and overreaching with unsupported alarmist claims.

    See The Dog Ate Global Warming for another recent example of AGW scientist refusing to release their raw data.

  159. Mitsu Says:

    Richard Aubrey,

    Of course, one can make the argument that a warmer climate would benefit some regions — and that’s certainly true. In particular I think Canada would certainly benefit (as it already has this past decade), longer growing season, etc. Most simulations, however, suggest that overall it would be a negative for us (in terms of food production at least). But the main problems with climate change (again, if AGW turns out to be real) are simply the costs associated with dealing with the changes. There’s a lot of infrastructure, population, etc., which is built up around existing climate patterns, and significant change is likely to cost a lot of money to deal with. We’re already seeing a much greater incidence of flooding, tornadoes, destructive storms, etc., which is in line with the models, and insurance companies are among those on the forefront of this issue as they are seeing their claims start to rise. “100 year floods” are occurring with increasing frequency.

    Much more dramatically, desertification is likely to accelerate if climate change gets worse, and of course there’s the issue of coastal flooding if significant portions of the Antarctic ice shelves collapse. Not only would our coastal cities be under threat but a lot of people worldwide would have to relocate.

    The costs would be huge.

    Ultimately it comes down to cost-benefit analysis. What strategies are the cheapest and most effective? From a US standpoint, what policy is likely to benefit us most in the long term, both from an economic and security standpoint?

    Again, I do think there are alternatives to CO2 reduction. But I also think that concerns about the costs of CO2 reduction may be overblown. As I noted above it would create a lot of new industries and new technologies, and becoming more energy efficient would be an obvious economic boost. If we get the same output for less energy input that’s got to benefit us, plus other countries would likely buy our high-tech solutions from us (since we still lead the world in scientific and technical innovation).

    I don’t believe we need, in other words, to suffer decreases in quality of life over this issue. However, if AGW is real, and I believe it very likely is, I think it makes sense to take it seriously and look at the policy options in a sober fashion, to try to find the best options that give us the most bang for the buck over the long term.

    Regarding the Iranian human rights group’s funding cutoff, I certainly think that looks like a mistake. However, note that in that article it says funding was shifted to a different agency — I suspect whoever it is in USAID responsible for the decision wasn’t that familiar with the issues over there. I do think it makes sense to try to pressure the White House to reverse USAID’s decision in that case. I actually think it’s unlikely this is related to the engagement policy with Iran, though if it is I think that’s certainly a mistake. I have spent a lot of time, as I say, following the Iranian situation and so I will continue to watch this issue.

  160. Mitsu Says:

    Some links on the insurance industry/global warming topic:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1013/p01s01-usec.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jul/30/global-warming-building-insurance-premiums

  161. huxley Says:

    Real Climate, where the usual practice is to delete opposing opinion rather than to link to it.

    Mrs Whatsit: That was my experience.

    If one is not fully onboard with them, they are quite overbearing.

    You might get a kick out of this global warming debate between Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate plus two other AGW advocates against Richard Lindzen and Michael Crichton.

    Although the audience favored Globlal Warming before the debate began, they turned against GW by the end. Which doesn’t prove anything except selling GW is harder than its advocates realize. I’d say they were also handicapped in persuading the audience by their smug arrogance.

  162. Mitsu Says:

    Crichton likes to make one of the worst arguments against the reliability of GCM models by making an analogy with weather prediction — which I talked about, above. The two things are totally different; one might say they’re different logical orders. The fact that Crichton uses this argument indicates a fundamental lack of understanding. Weather prediction is about predicting what happens on a specific day or week; climate prediction has to do with predicting overall trends statistically averaged over a long period (again, the difference between trying to predict a roll of the dice and trying to predict the statistical distribution of rolls of the dice). What the GCM models are attempting to do is figure out what happens when you load the dice a certain way, and while that is certainly difficult, it is not nearly as hopeless as attempting to predict the weather long-term.

  163. huxley Says:

    Mitsu: Crichton is a side issue. Once again you’re switching to a more convenient subject and lecturing us.

  164. The Real Jeff Says:

    Hey Mitsu, I see you’ve completely ignored my request; tell me how CO2 increases here on Earth are raising the temperatures on the other planets. Until you can solve that little conundrum I have no time to waste following your circular logic from self referring site to another.

  165. br549 Says:

    Two things, according to NASA. The mean temp on Venus is -65 C. The atmosphere on Venus is CO2.

  166. br549 Says:

    Oops. Sorry. A senior moment. Disregard brash know it all post above. I must have a talk with William Shatner.

  167. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Mitsu. The worst hurricane to hit the US mainland in recorded history in terms of raw energy was the Long Island Express”, in 1938. Destruction has gone up exponentially as shoreline building has increased.
    Two points. My father grew up in Norwich, CT, which got run over by the storm and the assembly of cotttages at Bluff Point, until then a sort of primitive resort, were scrubbed off the land. Due to the war, they were never rebuilt. I’ve read up on the storm out of curiosity. See, for fun, “A Wind To Shake The World”. Never been such hurricane energy hitting land that we know about.
    I’m in the insurance business and insuring shoreline building is a problem. Not because hurricanes are getting worse but because there is more for them to destroy. Instead of a few cottages with outdoor plumbing, we’ll see zillion-dollar condos and huge hotels. Big diff in claims. Let me say something again, Mitsu. Everybody knows this. You know it. Now you know we know it.
    Got numbers for more destructive storms and floods?
    We had a five-hundred year rain and flood in our area in Michigan. In 1985.
    Sea ice melting does not raise the water level and Antarctica is not warming, so the land-based ice is not melting.
    Desertification is an interesting problem. If things get warmer, we have more evaporation which has to go someplace. You recall the Sahara was green and lush recently enough that there are rock paintings of crocodiles, hippos, and people swimming. Overgrazing by goats and sheep converts marginal land to desert.
    The Little Ice Age was terrible for northern Europe. Got any information about where it was good?

  168. rickl Says:

    br549 @ 8:28 & 8:35:

    You may be thinking about Mars for your temperature figure.

    It’s interesting that the atmospheres of both Venus and Mars are made up almost entirely of CO2. Venus has a dense atmosphere and is hot, while Mars has a thin atmosphere and is cold. I’m unaware of any substantial human activity on either planet until very recently.

  169. rickl Says:

    And as I’ve said before many times (here and elsewhere), there are only two possibilities: Either the climate will get warmer or it will get cooler. The one thing we can be certain of is that it will not stay the same.

    By any rational measurement, we are better off with a warmer climate than with a cooler one. CO2 also stimulates plant growth, which is good if we like greenery–or food.

  170. rickl Says:

    Hy Rosen Says:
    October 6th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Speaking of global warming, and of minds being difficult to change, Little Green Footballs also points to RealClimate.com’s refutation of the tree-ring denialists.

    You’re still reading Little Green Foosballs? Oh, Lordy, don’t get me started on that!

    At this point, it’s like the blog version of Jonestown.

  171. Richard Aubrey Says:

    rickl.
    Yeah. I got concerned when creationism, crypto-creationism, walking past a building where a creationist had been spotted, were all the worst threats imaginable to the republic.
    Guy was nuts.

  172. Artfldgr Says:

    comment stuck…

    I don’t see how people here can be so certain that Global Warming is false (which is not the same thing as saying Global Warming is true).

    pretty easy… the majority are ignoring the points in which false or manipulative information is considered true. in the background, you ahve the speakers constantly pumping out the big lie.

    for instance, you said that co2 traps heat. yes, but the manipulators rely on you to always imagine spectrums… black to white with grey inbetween. but in the real world (and i know you know this its for the benifit of others), there are lots of types of spans. h2o a -200 up to h2o at +200 C is not a smooth span.

    combine this with the other illusions we normally follow when not informed or taught about them.

    for instance. people have remedial graph reading ability, but most dont look and wonder about framing, selection, and other issues that can skew a graph.

    as a society we are also loath (or informed not) to judge others by the company they keep. so we turn off our schema on that and have to consider each absurdity.

    but you said it in your comment, what we are using!!!!

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    just as nola in another thread posited an idea, and then surmised a solution and not once took a second to look at the actual data. it sounded reasonable.

    and i have been trying to point this out over and over.

    that sounds reasonable shifts the argument from merit, to what sticks on the wall when you throw it.

    it also can get valid truths that sound unreasonable and which arent, to be seen as fantasy.

    and both depend on what tower of info you constructed during your life. (i have read texts on analysis of this stuff and how to apply it).

    sounds reasonable, is relativism…

    we no longer use our empirical mind to decide, but instead, use our feelings based instinct.

    when we do this, we fill in blanks reather than accept them!!!!!!!!!!!!

    there are TONS of reasons not to believe the AGW people… and not all of them are science based… as very smart people can create information that confirms them and they not realize it.

    also,add that with socialism, the standards of sciecne have been played with. why? because sciecnes assertions allow commiunism to be seen as a sciecne.

    but its cargo cult, poor science.

    lets look at some of the reasons that no one discusses.

    one that we dont discuss is the holes in our knowlege when we know them.

    for instance there is an 8 second magnetic pulse connecting with the sun and other planets… we dont know what this does.

    until now, sunspots have been present and never absent (during the time when we had modern equipment).

    another one comes from math. when a certai scientist tried to apply energy equations to a filimment to figure out conversino to light, an interesting thign happens. the equations run away and end up causing the filiment to blow up. but in the real world that doesnt happen. there is a lot of this in science.

    another comes that CO2 cant hold infinite heat. that is, such things peak, and then dont hold more…

    another is that halocyne circulation that also works with c02 is a thousand year cycle…

    another is that they ignore the temperature readings of other planets.

    another is that they have no way of getting around the rounding problem in simulations. that is, nature doesnt round or decide till its down to plank time, or plank lengths, our math rounds way way way before that. in fact, i can show you more than 20 rounding methods. none of them represent the real world, and our computers cant run simulatios that try to do this.

    another thing is the fundemental problem with simulatinos coming from very tiny changes leading to very large errors later.

    then who are the biggest supporters or talkers of it. well funny that the most egregious polluters are the ones calling for things for others (russia, china).

    another is reading the words they say in their speeches to each other vs their speeches to the public.

    “The threat of environmental crisis will be the ‘international disaster key’ that will unlock the New World Order.” — Mikhail Gorbachev, quoted in “A Special Report: The Wildlands Project Unleashes Its War On Mankind”, by Marilyn Brannan, Associate Editor, Monetary & Economic Review, 1996, p. 5

    decoding soviet style language and you get “the contrived crisis being sold is the signal for all to coordinate their efforts to act at one time, and allow us to reach our goals”.

    sounds unreasonable.. but who taught you what was reasonable and what wasnt? the teachers in the schools who is well known lean to one side?

    “In October 1917, we parted with the old world, rejecting it once and for all. We are moving toward a new world, a world of Communism. We shall never turn off that road.” — Mikhail Gorbachev

  173. Artfldgr Says:

    another way to know is that their things always lead to more statism.

    but back to more science stuff…

    we are not allowed to even consider the stability of weather for the last billion years.. (ie, no runaway anything ever or life and us wouldn’t be here questioning)

    and then if you read a lot in science, not just the articles that leftists write…you read tons and tons of stuff that on your own make you question things.

    like this year the ice melt satellite dta shows the melt to be the lowest since sats started.
    www. World climatereport com/index.php/2009/10/ 06/antarctic-ice-melt-at-lowest-levels-in-satellite-era/

    another thing is that outside the soviet union and lysenkoists, consensus is not soemthign in science (read quote in other thread).

    and that in real science you dont get book cooking, cherry picking… hidden models… destroyed data… made up data to bridge sets… refusal to accept obvious mitigating conditions (like a temperature sensor reading sitting on hot tarmac).

    and that empiricism drives models, not models drive empricism.

    and for me the biggest thign is that the whole idea is driven not from a even sampling, but drawn along political power lines. with the winners controlling the whole planet and future of all.

    talk about a brass ring for despotics.

    and the other biggie for me is when they find some new situation in nature that would serously impact a model, and that was never included in any model that ever existed

    another is i cant get a copy of the model.. few people have seen it, or are allowed to. why? its not like the model will have the results of a protein that is patentable.

    its a complet wash with all that crap in it.

    name any other science that isnt a darling power position of the left that that happens in?

    social sciences was so poisoned that the real workers in it moved to evolutionary psychology and harder forms. especially since meade and kinsey were a farce and boas was a spy.

    so we know that gender studies, sex ed, and those branches were falsely constructed to appear as a sciecne but instead be a lever to promote ideological conformity… scientific socialms/communsm. (though if this was true and valid science, they would not find the stuff they find, and it woudl not parallel marx!!! everythign from them confirms marx, no matter how tortuous the mental gymnastics to get there).

    the sad part is that we lose either way.

    if they win, we lose our freedom… and progress in favor of a stagnated era where their genetic material replaces ours.. (as they do well everyone else does poor).

    if we win, the pubilcs confidence in real science will be as confident as dr mbogo curing things with a dance.

    after all, we have watched what is science attempt to connect everything to global warming till the sCIENC is just as farcicle as feminism and gender studies which contradict each other along political lines!!!!

    that is like freudiens see everything as connected to sex, they see everything connected to weather.

    and everyting is considered in isolation…

    for instance… the arguments of disaster completely ignore prior historical times when that happened and there was no disaster!!!!

    they waffle between environmental disaster and economic.

    and all the while, their desire is for a static world.

    however the schizo points have gone so far that each area is contradicting other areas.

    thats why i dont agree with global warming.

    a huge preponderance of bad info, propaganda, alignment with totaliarianism (perfectly), the fact that force is being applied, communists who use the world as their toilet bowl love it, every leftist thinks it justifies totalitarianism (of ther own personal style, remember the personal forms i tried to educate?)

    take some time to read true believers stuff. where they discuss using things in reality as tools to ends the way a desperate man will club you over the head with any object they can grab that will do it.

    thats the science behind scientific socialism. keep trying everytiing, if it works, keep pushing, if it doesnt try something else. and never change the end goal of totalitarian control of the future (for whatever individual reason that makes it stick).

    oh.. and lastly… that so much of this all is built on false concepts. litter and garbage dont exist. its just a name we call matter we dont like that we moved to another place. in 1 billion years where will it be? given that the universe probably has a trillion billion years left to it, litter is a time prefernce judgement that disappears on other scales. smaller scales its just a new environment for bacteria… they evolove to handle it. larger scales in time and its nothing.

    how long before digging deeper on the surface will be more expensive than using plasma to re separate the matter in garbage dumps turning them into the sweetest mines of the future (i magine finding a mine whose materials were that concentrated with so many in one small place… the only difference is that we formed the matter into things)

    and running out of mateirals? we have planets we can use… so how can we?

    if we cant get over certin humps we never will go to these other levels. and their idea is to stop those things.

    after all, the minute man leaves earth and colonizes the rest of the place, globalism will again be fractured into different local planets and someone will invent solarism.. and the american revolution and such will happen again in different ways.

    that is, only capitaism without the needling of socialisms destructiveness would allow us off planet and the universe of solutions to the problems that today are really just tiny things magnified to scare us.

  174. Artfldgr Says:

    in this case, the filter was preventing any article with a certain website from appearing. it would not post till i brok up the website name.

    www. World climatereport com/index.php/2009/10/ 06/antarctic-ice-melt-at-lowest-levels-in-satellite-era/

    now why would it block such a site? like google blocks and screws with sites who are not in the consensus talk… (it amounts to those not following the dikta are harrased).

  175. time warner cable nyc Says:

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We grabbed a book from our local library but I think I learned better from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there…

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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