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  • Quick Climate Change Debate

    Posted by James R. Rummel on October 18th, 2008 (All posts by )

    You might be interested in this 38 minute video. It is a debate between Bjorn Lomborg and Myles Allen.

    If you will excuse the pun, it gets a little heated.

    (Hat tip to Milo.)

     

    13 Responses to “Quick Climate Change Debate”

    1. pst314 Says:

      Thanks for the link. Very interesting. I was disappointed in Myles Allen when he falsely asserted that Lomborg advocates doing nothing about carbon emissions, but I thought it was particularly slimy when he explicitly equated Lomborg’s economic trade-off analyses with Soviet policy. It was at that point that I decided he was not somebody I could trust for honest reporting of facts, much less honest analysis.

    2. James R. Rummel Says:

      “I was disappointed in Myles Allen when he falsely asserted that Lomborg advocates doing nothing about carbon emissions, but I thought it was particularly slimy when he explicitly equated Lomborg’s economic trade-off analyses with Soviet policy.”

      Good point.

      What really shocked me was when the moderator stepped in and accused Lomborg of shifting his position! I thought that moderators were supposed to just shut up and make sure the two sides didn’t go over their allotted time.

      James

    3. pst314 Says:

      “I thought that moderators were supposed to just shut up and make sure the two sides didn’t go over their allotted time.”

      Welcome to the Brave New postmodern World of progressivism. Everything is subject to ideology. Neutrality is oppressive. Long live liberating bias and favoritism!

    4. pst314 Says:

      test

    5. pst314 Says:

      That was weird: I just posted a comment and got the following errors:

      Warning: unlink(/usr/www/users/chicagob/blog/wp-content/cache/wp-cache-d60c8b098a588d9b260a7d51c42a9ac2.html) [function.unlink]: No such file or directory in /usr/www/users/chicagob/blog/wp-content/plugins/wp-cache/wp-cache-phase2.php on line 297

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    6. Robin Goodfellow Says:

      Wow, Myles’ rhetoric was full of hand waving and run around. The moderator was pretty ridiculous as well. It’s distressing how much the subject of climate change has perverted scientific debate lately.

    7. knirirr Says:

      Thanks for the plug, James. The comments on here about the performance of the participants in the debate are very interesting.
      I should admit that I encountered this video by being asked to put a an announcement about it on my work’s website, and the text of the announcement was supplied by Myles. Amongst other things it says “Myles would like to make clear the debate format pushed him into being unscientifically combative…”
      Perhaps he suspected how some of his remarks may be viewed.

    8. Jonathan Says:

      Pst314,

      Sorry for the inconvenience. Whatever bug caused the problem you experienced was temporary. These things happen occasionally.

    9. pst314 Says:

      Jonathon, no problem, I just thought I’d drop a note in case the problem recurs and you want diagnostic details.

    10. pst314 Says:

      “Myles would like to make clear the debate format pushed him into being unscientifically combative…”

      In other words, “It’s not my fault! It’s the system!” That sure brings me back to my undergraduate days 35 years ago.

    11. mishu Says:

      I also thought Myles’s argument that the Chernobyl disaster was due to a “lack of investment” in nuclear safety was misplaced. The Chernobyl disaster was due to an experiment gone awry based on poor management decisions. Had management performed the experiment under proper conditions (the experiment should have been performed on fresh fuel rods, not spent fuel) or even forgone the experiment, the disaster would have likely been averted.

    12. Obloodyhell Says:

      > I also thought Myles’s argument that the Chernobyl disaster was due to a “lack of investment” in nuclear safety was misplaced.

      Look, anyone who raises Chernobyl as even vaguely related to Modern Nuclear Power Generation In the West (“Modern” in the sense of “by the mid-60s”) is either too ignorant to have an opinion or a flat-out lying, two-bit charlatan.

      The system used at Chernobyl (and throughout much of the USSR) was the exact same system used in the original pile — graphite moderation.

      Graphite moderation has never been used at ANY commercial nuclear plant in the West. It was written off as a technique back in the 1950s as “unsafe”. Yes, even in the 50s, with their “Nukes’r’Good” attitude, theey did not consider this as a safe technique.

      Why? The answer to that is obvious, when you replace the word “graphite” with the word most people commonly experience it as: charcoal.

      Yes, the pile at Chernobyl was surrounded by the same stuff you use in your backyard barbecue… Is it really, really a surprised that, after all the abuse and failed training and so on that Chernobyl was subjected to, that a screwup happened?

      But the system used in The West, which has never actually had anything resembling a serious accident (sorry, TMI suffered no release of radioactivity detectable at the property boundaries) cannot have that kind of event happen — because there is little to no chance of anything resembling a fire happening at any nuke plant, and certainly nothing resembling a sustained fire, like a mass of overheated charcoal is capable of.

      As far as “nuclear safety protocols” in the USSR go, I suggest you read the rlated wiki article on Mayak aka “Kyshtym”.

      The USSR, like most socialist systems, were not wealthy enough to actually expend any of their efforts towards safety, nor did they care substantially about the quality of human life enough to place any value in that issue, either.

    13. Orson Says:

      hanks for posting this debate, James. A local group of atheists collects these, and post them there.

      Lomborg’s book came out a year ago (or was it later), and surprisingly, I find his moderate efforts have become scientifically dated.

      First came ”The Great Global Warming Swindle,” broadcasting the fact that paleoclimatology shows that CO2 rises follow after temperature rises, contradicting Al Gore. In other words, climate science does not show that temperature is sensitive to CO2 flux.Then came rapid drops in measured global temperature 0.63C (1.13F), back to 1997 and maybe 1988. In other words, again, if there is temperature sensitivity to added CO2, it isn’t showing up in today’s data. Over the past ten years, global temperature has dropped while man-made CO2 has increased by about 4%. And third, in a series of four papers (among others), NASA meteorologist argues that recent satellite data shows that the atmospheric sensitivity is negative – NOT the positive forcing that the IPCC trumpets worryingly. (Here is s simplified version of his latest forthcoming paper http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/19/new-paper-from-roy-spencer-pdo-and-clouds/)

      In addition, Spencer has added natural climate variability to other alternative explanations for climate change, especially the solar-cosmic ray-clouds hypothesis.

      Finally, I am moved by the fact that such fundamentals of Anthropogenic Climate Warming (AGW) theory such as accounting for the global carbon budget remain seriously unknown, despite decades of research, and AGW has to be called a theory in jeopardy. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

      So, what remains of Lomborg’s concessions? That AGW is happening? Very much in doubt.
      Lawrence Soloman’s ”The Deniers” is an excellent survey of doubt, except for Spencer’s vital more recent contributions.