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Fair warning: I will be shutting down comments to this thread at the end of day tomorrow (Friday, July 25th), as any useful discussion has clearly run its course.

Thank you for indulging my views, Jennifer.

You're welcome. :) And you have until 5 PM PST to get any last comments in. :)

Paper Tiger, Uh, dude?

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

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2007/10/19/SS6JS8RH0.DTL&type=politics

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

"There is something worse than ignorance, and that's knowing what ain't so."

Catherine Brahic has a plausible-looking account of how this happened, via interviewing Al Saperstein, at New Scientist:
http://www.newscientist.com/blog/environment/2008/07/now-will-you-publish-my-paper-showing.html?DCMP=ILC-rhts&nsref=ts10_bar

After reading that, it is worth knowing that the editors got the suggested list of names from Gerald Marsh, an APS Fellow who has often contributed to FPS, not Larry Gould, as I'd conjectured before. (Gould seemed happy to help Monckton, but that seems to have been later).

If one peruses the references in RealClinate, it turns out that Dr. Marsh for some years has written against AGW and the IPCC in OpEds, letters-to-editor, thinktank whitepapers, newsletters ... but as far as I can tell so far, *not* in credible peer-reviewed journals.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/07/once-more-unto-the-bray/langswitch_lang/wp#comment-93523

To that list, one may add:

June 2005 "No consensus on prime cause of global warming"
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/10ea480e-dba7-11d9-913a-00000e2511c8.html

Dec 2004, "CO2 cannot be called a pollutant", letter to Financial Times
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/72a811d4-593e-11d9-89a5-00000e2511c8.html?nclick_check=1

That's at least 10 such since 2001. Needless to say, I support free speech, but I usually get nervous when retired scientists with long publication records, start writing strong opinions in different disciplines, but not via peer-reviewed articles.

I feel a little bad for the editors: they got a list from an APS Fellow and FPS contributor, and they didn't quite check it out enough to realize there was a land-mine.

It's encouraging to see that a respectable organization is admitting that "climate change" might be a hoax. Sure, there is climate change. But in which direction seems to be currently in doubt (see "sunspot minimum", for example). The idea least supported is whether AGW is a viable concept. The very fact that it has turned into an item of religious dogma (see Al Gore, James Hansen) is more than enough to cast suspicion on the idea. Krakatoa did more damage in a few hours - damage that lasted a few years, even affecting crop yields here in the US - than all our sputtering SUVs.

As to "consensus", just look back at Gore's embarrasing citation of the Naomi Oreskes study.

While I'll agree that just because this notion has been picked up by non-scientists with an ax to grind, like Gore, and shamelessly promoted by groups with an environmental agenda (like the "We Care" campaign), that's no reason to discredit it.

What is reason enough, is when they make up data (the Hockey Stick graph), purposefully misrepresent data (as in Gore's slide show), and threaten the lives and careers of those who might not agree (like Hansen, among others).

Ray Ladbury falls into the same error - unwarranted extrapolation ("So what's next? Allowing Biblical Creationists to "debunk" the Big Bang?") - as Papertiger ("... we need to limit human breathing ..."). On the other hand, I've heard more than one poor global-warmer say that she's not going to have any children, for the sake of the planet.

It was also reported on the BBC recently, by a pair of doctors, that having a third child is equivalent to getting a patio heater - they both produce a large carbon footprint:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/27/doctors_babies_patio_heaters_o_lordy/
Doctors: Third babies are the same as patio heaters

As long as I'm in a technical blog, I really wish the promoters would learn the difference between "carbon" and "carbon dioxide". If "carbon" is so nasty, let's shut down all the diamond mines.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
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      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
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      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
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      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
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      2-3 drops Grenadine
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