The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
29 Points
The Contender
Lasagna
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Global climate change should not be a major factor in US energy policy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/26/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,027 times Debate No: 17658
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

"Global climate change" means the climate effects, whatever they might be, of humans introducing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

"US" is the United States of America.

"US energy policy" in this debate means prohibitions or incentives provided by the US government with regard to the US development or use of carbon-based fuels for energy. This includes outright prohibitions on the development of oil, oil shale, tar sands, natural gas, and coal, as well as disincentives and obstacles aimed at minimizing their use. Energy policy includes subsidies and mandates for use of non-carbon alternatives. Restrictions or incentives aimed at other purposes are not a subject of this debate, nor is the funding of research projects.

The US does not have an official energy policy, but it has many laws and regulations that constitute a de facto policy. The laws and regulations are at issue.

A "major factor" is one that may determine a policy outcome, as distinct from factors that might either accrue as side benefits or weigh as disadvantages of a policy.

Standard dictionary definitions are used, with the context used to select the appropriate definition.

In this debate, "flow through sources" are allowed. If a blog, book, popular article, or Wikipedia is used as a reference, and if the data cited is referenced from another source the implication is that the original source is referenced. Sometime a blogger plots some data in a convenient form for presentation, so it's helpful to reference the graph. The data is argued from it's source. Cited opinions stand or fall on their individual merits as being authoritative or not.

Reference lists or arguments beyond the debate 8000 character limits are not allowed.

The first round is for acceptance and definitions. There are a total of four rounds.
Lasagna

Con

You may begin, Roy.
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

Thanks to Con for accepting this debate. The resolution covers many issues, and that will make it difficult to discuss comprehensively. The virtue is that it exposes how many assumptions are stacked to get to the present policies of heavily subsidizing uneconomic green energy and discouraging the exploitation of fossil fuels.

1. Increasing warmth and CO2 are most likely beneficial

The average temperature of the earth has risen about 1 degree C in the past hundred years. [1] The earth was much warmer than the present during the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) about a thousand years ago. [2] That's when Greenland was actually green and grapes grew in Scotland. The MWP was a prosperous time in human history because the growing season was longer in the temperate zone. Temperatures were warmer still during the Holocene Maximum, 5,000 to 8,000 years ago. That is when the great civilizations of the world began in China, India, and the Middle East. It was another very prosperous time.

Going back in geological time, earth is currently none of the lowest points of both temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. [3] The current average global temperature is about 14.5 C (58 F). [4] For most of the period of the evolution of life forms, average global temperature was around 22 C. Life flourished.

CO2 levels are now around 380 ppm, less than a tenth of early levels. [3] The main depletion of CO2 is from the microscopic skeletons of plankton capturing the CO2 in carbonates which end up in limestone at the bottoms of the oceans. Because plants evolved in conditions of high CO2, they are now relatively starved. Commercial greenhouse operators artificially raise CO2 to about double current atmospheric levels, There are a few exceptions, but nearly all plant species grow faster at higher CO2 levels. This fact is supported a vast number of peer reviewed studies. More plant growth means more food, and that's good.

Humans adapt much more readily to warmer climates than cold. [6] That's apparent from the distribution of human populations. The same is true of animal species. Of course, there are extremes that cannot be tolerated, but the climate change controversy is mostly about CO2 causing changes of 1 - 4 degrees C. Warmer is better.

The largest disadvantage of warmth is the rise in sea level. The latest IPCC report predicts and expected rise of nine inches in the next hundred years.

2. Climate predictions are unreliable

The global warming panic peaked around 2000, when confident predictions were made that the world would fry by the year 2010. In the decade since then, the world has actually cooled. [1] Why were the predictions so confident back then. The logic was as follows: (a) the earth warmed substantially from 1980 to 2000, (b) CO2 increased during that period, (c) all other factors affecting climate had been accounted for -- it wasn't the sun, volcanoes, changes in the earth orbit or anything else, (d) therefore CO2 caused the warming. The physics of CO2 alone did not explain the warming, so a multiplying effect was hypothesized and the multiplier was found to be high. About two-dozen computer models using various models built on the same principles were used to predict the decade of 2001-2010. What actually occurred was below the error band of all the model predictions. [7] One factor that was omitted was the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a roughly-60 year cycle that peaked in the 1880s, 1930s, and 2000s, producing widespread melting of Arctic Ice at each peak. Taking the PDO into account, many now predict we are in for two or three decades of cooling. [7. 8]

Last month, I attended a pitch for M.I.T.'s new effort to rebuild climate science into something reliable. [9] The prof started by saying, "I just returned from a week-long conference at Princeton. We all agreed on two things: the troposphere is warming, and we don't know why." For example, a critical element in climate models is the rate of energy transfer between the ocean surface and the atmosphere. Recent work suggests the previous assumptions are off by a factor of ten or twenty. There are many other known deficiencies.

Because climate models have been proven wrong, and wrong in the direction of wildly exaggerating CO2 effects, they should not be used a basis for public policy. We should continue research until the models prove reliable.

3. Fossil fuel restrictions in the US will have little effect

Let's suppose for a moment that CO2 alarmists are correct in worrying about CO2 increases.

China has 23% of the CO2 emissions, the us 18%. However, the Chinese are increasing consumption at 11% per year, while the US is about stable. World consumption is growing at 5.6%, with most of the growth in developing countries. Per capita consumption in China is a quarter that of the US. India is about 1/30. There is no possibility that China, India, and the developing world are going to stay in poverty over fear of global warming.


Let's suppose the US cut it's CO2 emissions in half. Because the US population centers cover a large area, transportation needs are much greater than countries where the population is concentrated, so its a lot harder to cut energy use. If the US cut by half, India and China can be expected to grow rapidly. Their populations are now about eight times that of the US, their populations are growing faster, and they want to to advance their standard of living to US levels. The US's 18% of emissions will probably be less than 6% of the world total in 50 years. If we took drastic cuts, it might be 3%. Temperature is proportional to the logarithm of CO2 concentration.


If the temperature rise were 1 degree, our policy of draconian cuts would be reduce the rise by 0.026 degree, That's negligible. There is no point in it.


4. Attempts to significantly cut CO2 would cost trillions of dollars


Any measure that reduces CO2 and also cuts costs will be adopted by free markets independent of government policy. For example, fluorescent light bulbs and hybrid cars save money, so people are adopting them without a government policy forcing it. Forcing it costs an enormous amount of money. For example, there are 250 million passenger cars in the US. Replacing them with $25K hybrid vehicles would cost That's $6,5 trillion. Going to $40K electric cars would be $10 trillion. All the cars would ordinarily be replaced eventually, in about 20 years. Advancing that to replace them faster costs an amount proportional to the total.


When the capital, backup, distribution costs are counted, wind power costs about five times as much as conventional power and solar power about seven times as much. Hence the green upgrade is the cost to replace all the power plants in the country, times about six. The UX needs about 900,000 megawatt. [12] A new 300 megawatt coal plant is roughly $1 billion. [13] A green energy upgrade would be about $18 trillion.


On the other side of the ledger, the US has about $300 trillion worth of fossil fuels that would become worthless. [14]




The GDP is $14 trillion. We cannot afford the costs, so the policy would fail.


---------------------



1. http://www.theregister.co.uk...
2. http://www.geocraft.com...
3. http://www.geocraft.com...
4. http://www.currentresults.com...
5, http://www.co2science.org...
6. http://anthro.palomar.edu...
7. http://clivebest.com...
8. http://notrickszone.com...
9. http://paoc2001.mit.edu...
10. http://www.thegwpf.org...
11. http://factspluslogic.com...
12. http://www.eia.gov...
13. http://www.jsonline.com...
14. http://factspluslogic.com...
Lasagna

Con

1. Warming is beneficial

Whether warming is beneficial or not is irrelevant. The issue of Global Climate Change (here-in referred to as "GCC") is not simply warming, it is acceleration of warming trends within a short period of time. At one point in Earth's history there were crocodiles in Canada, and at one point the equator was winterous. Whether either of these conditions is "beneficial" is not at issue here; the issue is the acceleration of warming spurred by the release of large amounts of C02 into the atmosphere.

"Earth has probably never warmed as fast as in the past 30 years - a period when natural influences on global temperatures, such as solar cycles and volcanoes should have cooled us down." [http://www.newscientist.com...]

During Earth's history, the atmospheric gases present were a direct result of the organisms in the biosphere. These organisms work over extremely long time-periods. Long periods allow for evolution to adjust accordingly to change. Humans obviously are able to use technology to effect rapid change that biodiversity is unable to adapt to.

1a. plants will thrive

"For instance, while higher temperatures will boost plant growth in cooler regions, in the tropics they may actually impede growth. A two-decade study of rainforest plots in Panama and Malaysia recently concluded that local temperature rises of more than 1ºC have reduced tree growth by 50 per cent." [http://www.newscientist.com...]
Just because plants like C02 doesn't mean they are going to thrive when all is considered.

Pro states: "Because plants evolved in conditions of high CO2, they are now relatively starved."

I find this very hard to believe. Of all the forests and fields of the world that are lush with vegetation, Pro would have us believe that they are actually starving for C02. Sure, we feed certain plants extra C02 in greenhouses, we keep them extra warm and humid, and we pump excess nutrients into their roots - that doesn't mean all of Earth's plants are too
cold, undernourished, dry, and C02 starved. And last I checked, everything In nature is evolved perfectly into its surroundings. Citing that there was a point in history where things were different doesn't meant that things stopped evolving back then.

2. Climate Predictions are unreliable

Pro states: "many now predict we are in for two or three decades of cooling"

Perhaps Pro doesn't get out of the house much. We are experiencing one of the most bizarre and extreme summer heat waves on record, with thousands of records being broken and re-broken as we speak. This page outlines many of them, which are far too numerous for me to include in an 8,000 character post: [http://www.washingtonpost.com...]

Pro gives sources saying that the Earth is cooling over the last ten years. At best, he's picked a small fluctuation at a convenient interval to make his assertation. At worst, he's picked a completely biased website that doesn't reflect the state of modern science at all. It appears that both of these assumptions are correct. His site claims it's getting its information from NASA, but this is what NASA has to say (notice my link is actually NASA):
http://www.giss.nasa.gov...

I'll let the concluding paragraph do the talking: "If we follow a 'business-as-usual' course, Hansen predicts, then at the end of the twenty-first century we will find a planet that is 2-3°C warmer than today, which is a temperature Earth hasn't experienced since the middle Pliocene Epoch about three million years ago, when sea level was roughly 25 meters higher than it is today."

25 meters > 9 inches. Perhaps the land-mass of the Earth was different back then, but I doubt that could account for the entire discrepency between the numbers NASA gave us versus Pro's claim.

3. Fossil fuel restrictions in the US will have little effect.

Just because China and the developing world are going to lag behind us in cutting fossil fuel usage doesn't mean we should give up the effort. In fact, the reason why China et al. do not put any real attempts into cutting C02 is because they will be damned if they are going to cut emissions while we refrain. People in other countries have a different perspective than we do; they see America as the richest, most powerful country in the world. They see us, with 5% of the population, creating 40% of the world's waste [http://www.recycling-revolution.com...]. So it is more responsible to assert that we are one of the top-producers of C02, instead of saying "well China is 5% ahead of us," isn't it? I mean, this is similar logic to a mis-behaving child who is trashing the living room and insists on continuing simply because another sibling is slightly ahead in total damage.

If the U.S. continues to decrease its C02 emissions, then China et al. will be accentuated more as the true roots of the problem. If we refrain from cutting emissions, then they will continue to hide behind our lack of effort and no progress will be made because China also has a conservative element that will use our inaction to strengthen their own denial of culpability.

4. Too expensive

I reject Pro's numbers based on the fact that the resolution merely states that GCC should be a "major factor" in our energy policy. It doesn't say that we need to tear down every power plant overnight. The spirit of this debate is whether or not GCC is a serious consideration; we don't have the time or space to debate specific plans of action regarding how to address the problem. It is sufficient for me to assert that GCC should significantly affect our policymaking (based on whether or not ut is bunk science), not that it necessarily must override every economic decision we have.

I have only one contention that I would like addressed:
5. The world's scientific community agrees that GCC is real and is imminently dangerous

The national scientific academies from all these countries have not only acknowledged GCC as a real threat, but have explicitly urged that all countries reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to combat it:
Australia
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
Royal Society of Canada
the Caribbean
China
France
Ghana
Germany
Indonesia
Ireland
Italy
India
Japan
Kenya
Madagascar
Malaysia
Mexico
Nigeria
New Zealand
Russia
Senegal
South Africa
Sudan
Sweden
Tanzania
Turkey
Uganda
United Kingdom
United States
Zambia
Zimbabwe

For a complete list of the scientific institutions that support GCC theory reference this page: [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

There are too many to count reliably, but I saw about 70 on the list. I'm sure Pro will point out that the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation have NOT signed on, but I'm hoping that these notable absences will not distract too much.

The link goes on to inform: "Since 2007, when the American Association of Petroleum Geologists released a revised statement, no scientific body of national or international standing rejects the findings of human-induced effects on climate change.

Statements by individual scientists opposing the mainstream assessment of global warming do include opinions that the earth has not warmed, or that warming is attributable to causes other than increasing greenhouse gases."

So, after 30+ of the world's top national scientific academies and 70+ of the world's foremost scientific institutions formally endorsed GCC as a real, anthropologically-induced threat, Pro's concerns occupy nothing more than a footnote of rogue scientists, as well as a handfull of purely politically-motivated right-wing institutions who put out data with the sole purpose of creating a doubt in the public eye that GCC is real enough to worry about, while 99% of the scientists involved have no doubts whatsoever that it is real.
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

1. Warming is beneficial

Con does not dispute that warming is beneficial, and claims that what should be of concern is the rate of warming. Con offers no evidence that the rate of warming is important, he merely asserts that it is.

Global temperature records have only been kept for about 130 years. [15. http://en.wikipedia.org...] Before that, temperature reconstructions are so coarse and uncertain that a claim about rates is pure speculation. Con's source for the speculation is a journalist without scientific credentials. The EPA, referencing the IPCC, contradicts Con explicitly. “Abrupt or rapid climate changes tend to frequently accompany transitions between glacial and interglacial periods (and vice versa). For example, a significant part of the Northern Hemisphere (particularly around Greenland) may have experienced warming rates of 14-28ºF over several decades during and after the most recent ice age.” [16. http://www.epa.gov... ]

Con claims that in the past, changes in CO2 were always biogenic and slow. He offers no evidence of that (e.g. volcanoes), and it's irrelevant. He didn't claim harm from rapid CO2 change, only temperature change.

Con says he does not believe plants are relatively starved for CO2. My assertion was supported by a reference giving hundreds of studies proving my point, whether it's from evolution or not. A table of experiments in which CO2 levels are artificially increased by about 75% shows that growth usually increases by 25% to 50%. [17. http://www.co2science.org... ]


It's only been 11,000 years since the last ice age. The time scale of plant evolution is millions of years, not thousands. [18. http://en.wikipedia.org... ]


2. Climate Predictions are unreliable

Those who make the climate models agree they failed. "... articles from major modeling centers acknowledged that the failure of these models to anticipate the absence of warming for the past dozen years was due to the failure of these models to account for this natural internal variability." [19. http://online.wsj.com...

There are four main sources of global temperature data, two from satellites and two from ground stations. Three of the four agree that the last decade has shown cooling. The outlier is NASA, who keeps adjusting past data to make the world warmer. The satellite data is far more trustworthy because is doesn't suffer from a lack of stations in remote areas and it doesn't suffer from the excess warmth of heat islands in developed areas. The satellites show cooling as does the HADCru data compiled in England.

Having a record warm year in 2010 does not invalidate the decade trend. The summer of 2009 was the coldest on record [20. http://www.prisonplanet.com... ] Since global temperatures have been warming since the end of the Little Ice Age, we would expect recent years to be among the warmest. Nonetheless, temperatures are way below what the CO2 climate models predict, so the models are invalid. The reference plotted the original data sources, and whether the site is biased or not, the data correctly shows the models were invalid. The story of an anomalous year works for a year of two, but not for a whole decade, especially when climate crisis advocates have claimed that they have accounted for everything that could possibly affect climate,

Hansen's predictions are wildly at odds with the IPCC report and climate models, which are now known to be too extreme. Hansen says the oceans will rise by 25 meters, while the IPCC says nine inches.

Temperatures have risen at the rate of about 1 degree per hundred years until now, so we are seeing the record highs for the hundred years. However, 1 degree per hundred years is not a problem either by temperature directly or rate of increase.

3. Fossil fuel restrictions in the US will have little effect.

I claimed that restrictions on fossil fuel usage in the US would have little effect. Con did not dispute my claim. If we make no policy decisions to cut our CO2 emissions, we'll drop from the present 18% of world emissions to less than 5%. Con says that while the restrictions are pointless from any practical viewpoint, Con says we should do it so we can proclaim how great we are. If it didn't cost anything, that might be nice, but it costs a whole lot.

4. Attempts to significantly cut CO2 would cost trillions of dollars

Con appears to agree that an expense of $25 trillions or so in the US could lower the earth's temperature by only 0.026 degree. A reduction of only 0.026 is pointless, so clearly it is no grounds for being a policy objective.

Con argues that we should aim for more modest cuts. Why, if dramatic cuts have no useful effect?
EPA mandates recently imposed will cost $78 billion per year for the next 90 years. That's $7 trillion spread over the 90 years. In return, according to the EPA analysis, the earth's temperature will be reduced by 0.00375° C. http://wattsupwiththat.com... That is not measurable. We should not spend large sums to achieve a result that is not measurable. By comparison, $15.6 billion was spent on AIDS research in a recent year, a shortfall of $7.7 billion. [21. http://www.avert.org... ] There is no justifications for a policy that spends $78 billion on a result that cannot even be detected if successful while the money is much better spent on things that do measurable good.

Con ignored the lost opportunity costs. The US has a critical dependence on foreign oil and badly needs jobs and tax revenues. Yet, over $300 trillion in energy reserves are locked away for no reason other than fear of CO2. The government gets about 40% of oil profits directly in taxes, and more from the incomes of employees in the energy business. Our deficit is about $15 trillion and the economy is a disaster. We need the revenue.


5. Con claims consensus


Skeptics of CO2 crisis have long agreed global temperatures are rising. However, climate models predicting things like a six degree rise by 2010 are disproved. Con seems to agree that policies of inhibiting CO2 will cost trillions of dollars and have no practical effect. Statements of imminent danger do not change the basic fact that policies to suppress CO2 in the US are destroying the economy by draining resources and fostering foreign dependence, while having no measurable effect on climate. Scientists have no special authority to claim that pointless policies should be instituted.

A far better approach is to allowi economic growth and use the prosperity to adapt to climate change, regardless of what causes climate change. Prosperity can support things like water projects that make a real difference in food production. That will have a much larger effect than a degree or two of warming.

We should also continue research on climate. Climate engineering solutions have been offered than would artificially reduce world temperatures at relatively low cost. [22. http://www.usatoday.com... ] The objection to climate engineering is that climate is so poorly understood that the effects cannot be assessed. That claim is odd, since CO2 crisis claims involve climate being completely understood. The crisis advocates are on to something this time; climate is not well understood.

Con tried a character attack on all MIT climate scientists, Calling them “nothing more than a footnote of rogue scientists.” Con didn't respond to the reasons for the new effort. Even the biased Wikipedia came up with a list of 75 reputable climate scientists skeptical of CO2 crisis. [23. http://en.wikipedia.org...]

The resolution is affirmed.
Lasagna

Con

Lasagna forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
RoyLatham

Pro

Thanks to Con for accepting this debate. It was an opportunity to raise some interesting points.

Arguments


Con forfeited the last round leaving all my arguments unanswered. New arguments cannot be introduced in Con's final round, so he should be content with summarizing.

I raised the issue early as to why trillions of dollars should be spent on policies that no one claims will have a significant effect on climate. Con's reply was that we should spend lesser trillions on policies that would have even less of an effect, not even measurable. Also unanswered was the detrimental effect on the US of refusing to develop the $300 trillion in fossil fuel resources when we need the revenue desperately.


Con argues that China looks to the US to set an example. Have they improved their human rights record in the light of the US's example? They are not imposing air pollution standards for fear of economic loss, that also despite the US's example of strict pollution controls. It is not remotely plausible that China, or anyone else in the world, is going to abandon economic development in favor of CO2 crisis theory. Con could not cite a single reference to anyone who believes that would actually work.

Con argues that the world scientific community says that climate change is real and imminent danger. Skeptics agree it is real, so that's not an issue. As to imminent danger, scientific truth is not determined by consensus, and if only the MIT scientists and the list in Wikipedia are considered, that is enough to prevent skeptics from being casually dismissed. The convincing evidence is that models claimed to describe climate clearly do not work.

If it is an imminent danger, that is not a good reason to adopt policies that are extremely expensive and not even claimed to be effective. Consider, for example, the imminent danger posed by nuclear proliferation. How about covering the land area of the earth with Geiger counters every quarter mile, with automatic reporting of anomalous radiation. That would cost trillions of dollars and would be ineffective, in part because the radiation is easily shielded. Nonetheless, everyone would agree that nuclear proliferation is an imminent danger. That does not recommend expensive and useless policies.

I suspect readers can come up with many examples of problems that have expensive yet ineffective solutions.


We should pursue sensible policies of adapting to climate change and researching cost-effective climate engineering methods.

Sources

Pro provided tow references to the New Scientist, a non-refereed popular magazine. In one, the statement of journalist that the recent temperature rise is unprecedented was not sourced, and it contradicted by scientific literature referenced by the Environmental protection agency. The other article makes claims about crop growth with enhanced CO2. If one keeps clicking through, one scientific article is referenced, but it is contradicted by the literally hundreds that I referenced.

One would think NASA would be a reliable source, but under Hansen, a CO2 fanatic, they have lost all credibility. Hansen says oceans will rise by 25 meters while the pro-CO2-crisis IPCC says nine inches. Under Hansen, the NASA global temperature data is continually revised upwards, contrary to the other three reliable sources.

===============

The resolution is affirmed.


Lasagna

Con

My apologies for the forfeit, my ability to devote time to a strictly recreational activity is limited, but I would like to continue the discussion in the forums where time-limits are not as dire. I will not introduce any new arguments in the final section, but I am going to dismiss Pro's concluding statements.


Pro continues to maintain that "no one" can stand behind GCC. I provided an extensive list of the world's foremost relevant institutions, and they all stand behind GCC as good science. I do not wish to dilute this point in rhetoric, so I will leave it be.


Our fossil fuel resources need not be wasted as Pro insists; there are other uses for it, after all.


Perhaps China will not use us as an example, per se, but at the very least it would bring us out of the "complete hypocrite" position. We cannot make any headway as long as we are part of the problem.


Pro's rebuttal of my "consensus" of scientific institutions is suspect. I am honestly a little unsure as to what exactly he is trying to say: "if only the MIT scientists and the list in Wikipedia are considered, that is enough to prevent skeptics from being casually dismissed" - that seems to strengthen my position, doesn't it? His skepticism about climate modelling doesn't seem to be shared by the scientific community, so what exactly makes him smarter than the world's scientists?


His Gieger counter analogy is unconvincing, as it clearly doesn't reflect, analogously, the GCC policy scenario. A more convincing analogy would involve efforts to curb production of radioactive substances, not the proliferation of tracking mechanisms thereafter.


Pro goes into internal politics with NASA to discredit their conclusions, and claims they have "lost all credibility." Pro's claims are conspiratorial in nature; he seems to indicate that political entities are putting biased people in key positions to influence the scientific literature they produce. This "Climate-Gate" tactic is all that the right-wing has left to battle the overwhelming amount of research coming out in favor of GCC. They cannot defeat the scientific community, so they simply discredit them in the eyes of the public. Since scientists are by nature powerless, their "consensus" is moot and nothing that they propose gets done.


Pro criticizes my sources, which are in complete harmony with what any scientific institution or university would maintain, yet uses laughable sources himself. Wattsupwiththat.com? Alex Jones? What is this stuff? The good sources he does use are mostly just to either quote the pro-GCC community or to make indirect points to base external conclusions off of (e.g., citing how much was spent on AIDS). He rebuts my plant evolution argument by referencing a wiki page which says nothing about plants not being able to adapt to Earth's C02 levels in time (would any person actually believe that plants are mal-adapted to their biological environment?). He insists he's quoted "literally hundreds" of articles, but to that I would only reiterate his point that consensus does not yield truth. In my case, at least my consensus is that of the respected scientific community.

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
You did not even attempt to logically rationalize spending trillions on policies that have no effect. You imply it's well worth destroying the economy of the US to avoid be called hypocrites. Being called hypocrites by whom? Of course, the hypocrisy "problem" is also solved by recognizing the plain fact that US restrictions on CO2 will have no effect whatsoever on climate, then getting on with pumping oil.

You have to explain why NASA data is so at odds with the three other sources. It isn't a conspiracy, it's entirely Hansen, who fires people who don't obey his line. If you didn't notice, I defended HADCru, the climategate guys, as being consistent with the satellite data, while you implied I had attacked them. You needed o show why Hansen was correct a the evil deniers (?) at HADCru wrong.
Posted by RoyLatham 2 years ago
RoyLatham
Call me a right wing extremist, but no woman would ever take away my modem.
Posted by Lasagna 2 years ago
Lasagna
Sorry, 3 days isn't really enough for me, especially when my fiancee takes the modem to work everyday because she doesn't want me hanging out on DDO all day :P

We've got a pretty good start to a discussion here, perhaps we can follow it up in the forums. I'll try to catch the last round, if I can, but we've obviously lost a crucial rebuttal.
Posted by Lasagna 2 years ago
Lasagna
I totally forgot about this... here we go.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
Here we gone with another try at getting a debate on this topic. The challenge on the debate that was lost in cyberspace was reported as expired.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 2 years ago
Man-is-good
RoyLathamLasagnaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Even without Lasagna's forfeit, Roy won the debate by a) showing the superiority of his sources and b) especially rebutting Lasagna's case against his contentions that global warming would be beneficial and so on...
Vote Placed by curious18 2 years ago
curious18
RoyLathamLasagnaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I'm sad to see RoyLatham wipe the floor with Lasagna, but he did. Sources and Arguments were way better and Lasagna had a forfeit.
Vote Placed by larztheloser 2 years ago
larztheloser
RoyLathamLasagnaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct is for the forfeit. Sources is for pro showing why his sources are superior in r3. Arguments is for frequent assertions by con - saying "x is unconvincing" and "I find this hard to believe" were literally used as evidence. Pro should be careful he doesn't claim points were uncontested when they were contested (although this wasn't very obvious).
Vote Placed by mongeese 2 years ago
mongeese
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes to Pro for not forfeiting. Arguments goes to Pro because the data indicates that the US would have to undertake drastic actions that even Con thinks go too far to even have measurable outcomes. He talks about China following our example, but that isn't going to happen. Pro also successfully pointed out that warming isn't all bad, which Con failed to refute satisfactorily.
Vote Placed by freedomsquared 2 years ago
freedomsquared
RoyLathamLasagnaTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit (quite an interesting debate though)