- My mention of Anthony Watts mother was a metaphor. A literary device. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't know the first thing about his mother, and hardly that she was dead (unfortunately, so is mine). Watts obviously just saw an opening to score a point and so pretended I was slandering her and hence him, and continues to pretend that, which is childish and, in any case, not convincing.
- I firmly believe humans are affecting the climate, and I believe the science shows that.
- I believe projecting future climate change is the most difficult calculation ever attempted, and it still has a lot of uncertainties, especially the handling of clouds, aerosols, and deep ocean dynamics.
- Inability to calculate precisely is not a reason to brush away the problem.
- Climate change has become a proxy war for fights over lots of other issues.
- I believe that fossil fuels have great value (and, at the same time, that their pollution causes great damage), and that we need to get off them, but not at the expense of using less energy, because energy makes life better. Right now the cost of their pollution is socialized: From each according to their smokestack, to each according to their lungs.
- The way to get off fossil fuels and onto alternative fuels is via a massive R&D program, incentivized by a price on carbon (I'm not sure of the price -- perhaps something like Australia's -- and I'd prefer to give it all back to everyone on an equal per-capita basis) that develops alternative fuels and/or ways to remove carbon from the air or from the energy production process.
- Affluent people like most of us can afford to pay for some of the damage our fossil fuels cause, because we're paying anyway for its pollution, especially in higher health costs (an average of $400 per person per year, at least).
- Poorer people, both in the US and especially around the world, deserve the chance to have better lives via fossil fuels, if necessary, without paying the costs of their damages. Then they can use alternative fuels when the rich countries (who have put most of the carbon into today's atmosphere) step up and develop them.
- I believe climate scientists are honest people trying their best to do honest jobs, like almost all of us*. They're not frauds or liars or data manipulators, but they are human and some of them make the same mistakes as any other human, including me and including you. In my experience, as a class scientists are the most intellectually honest people I've ever met, and as a result in the last 400 years civilization has made nearly incomprehensible strides forward. The personal attacks some of them have been under are terrible, and will be looked back on as a shameful time in the history of science.
- For some reason I'm not completely sure of myself, I was very bothered by the revelation that Michael Mann was looking for an investigative journalist to investigate Steve McIntyre. Lord knows Mann has been unfairly attacked like few other scientists in history, and I have no idea what that must be like. But it bothered me.
- Though I can only aspire to be the half the journalist he is, what Andrew Revkin wrote crystallized my thinking:
"Do I trust climate science? As a living body of intellectual inquiry exploring profoundly complex questions, yes.
"Do I trust all climate scientists, research institutions, funding sources, journals and others involved in this arena to convey the full context of findings and to avoid sometimes stepping beyond the data? I wouldn’t be a journalist if I answered yes.
- I believe a lot of people are making immense starships of money off fossil fuels, and as a result denigrate the science or spread money around to assist others do that.
- The U.S. isn't moving forward on lots of problems, including climate change, because large corporations buy our politicians. In relation to its size, power, and reach, the U.S. may be the most corrupt nation in the history of the world.
- I don't really believe people who say we should be concerned about the people of the future when so many of us accept and tolerate the great poverty being experienced around the world by billions of people who are alive today.
- I work hard to inform my opinion, as do lots of others, and change it when I find good reasons to have a different one.
- I don't ban people from my blogs without a very, very good reason, which is that they've continually stepped way over the rudeness line. (Doing so while remaining anonymous is especially cowardly, in my opinion.) I've only done it 2 or 3 times, and I can't ban people since going on Blogger since it doesn't have that functionality. I don't even moderate comments, except those over 7-days old, and that's only to prevent spam.
- Some commenter, probably from Watts' site, still owes me $10. My email address is on the right.
Monday, March 26, 2012
A Review of Where I'm Coming From
Lest I get branded a skeptic or denier, let me take a moment to review where I'm coming from:
Posted by David Appell at 3/26/2012 11:54:00 AM