TCS Daily

No Thanks, No Impact Man

By Gregory Scoblete - March 30, 2007 12:00 AM

On June 11, 1963 Thich Quang Duc burned himself to death at an intersection in downtown Saigon. The Buddhist monk hoped his self-immolation would serve as a dramatic protest to the Vietnamese government's anti-Buddhist policies.

Colin Beavan would never dream of such a display. After all, it consumes fossil fuels.

By now, you've probably heard of "No Impact Man." New York writer Colin Beavan has decided to live an "eco-efficient" life-style with his wife, 2-year-old daughter and dog in the heart of one of the world's largest metropolises.

The mission, he wrote on his blog, was: "No garbage. No greenhouse gasses. No toxins. No water pollution. No air pollution. No electricity. No produce shipped from distant lands. No impact." (There's also a blog, a book and a movie, naturally.)

Others have pointed out the fairly obvious point: that the very act of living makes an impact.

But I doubt such logical coherence is the point of Beavan's so-called "experiment." Rather, the goal is "to try to live in a radical way according to our values." While he does not intend to be a missionary, Beavan acknowledged that he hopes "that our project might inspire other people to live more closely to their own values."

Values. Remember that word.

We turn next to Jonathain Chait writing in the Los Angeles Times who this week sneered his way through an op-ed about how Republicans and conservatives have become less convinced about global warming as the scientific community only grows more convinced. In the midst of speculating why this should be, Chait offered this:

"Your average conservative may not know anything about climate science, but conservatives do know they hate Al Gore. So, hold up Gore as a hate figure and conservatives will let that dictate their thinking on the issue."

Crude, yes, but I think there's a basic element of truth in this. But it's not Al Gore that drives conservative skepticism, it is what Al Gore represents. And what he represents is No Impact Man.

Gore's hyper-alarmism (the planet has a fever!) has been taken to its logical conclusion by Beavan's "no impact" project. Rather than try to convince people and policy-makers to accept moderate changes in the name of reducing our output of carbon dioxide, addressing global warming is presented as an urgent choice between accepting planetary death or life-altering sacrifice. Since these sacrifices all tend to favor policies that liberals support anyway (a heavier regulatory burden, higher taxes, more home made yogurt), conservatives tend to react with suspicion.

Maybe they shouldn't, but if you believe, as Chait evidently does, that global warming is a serious threat meriting sweeping government action, shouldn't you be training your fire on people like Colin Beavan? Question for Chait: if people think that minimizing global warming requires giving up toilet paper, are you more or less likely to win converts?

Far from changing minds, Beavan's dramatic display will likely turn more people off to his cause. Any reasonable person will look at the Beavan family lifestyle - exemplified by this New York Times photo of Mrs. Beavan dutifully scootering to work in the driving rain -- and conclude that if that's what it takes to "save the planet" then thanks but no thanks.

By turning a desire to reduce his "impact" on the Earth into an exercise in public suffering - with a healthy dollop of self righteousness - Beavan is simply re-affirming the excesses and stereotypes of the environmental movement. Why this would be exciting for those of a greenish tint is beyond me. (And full disclosure: I compost.)

Perhaps the secret lies in Beavan's use of the term "values." For many, environmentalism is not a science but a religion. At its heart beats the notion that modern human society is rapidly despoiling the planet and is therefore in need of an immediate, and radical, overhaul. It distrusts capitalism's allocation of resources - indeed, believes capitalist society to be suicidal -- but does invest a substantial amount of faith in their own ability to locate the proper ecologic equilibrium of the planet, and set government policy accordingly.

Beavan's enterprise is merely a celebration of that spirit. He describes himself as a "guilty liberal" who is now indulging in some long overdue self-flagellation to "save the planet."

It is not a message to convince the skeptical. It is an example to impress the faithful. And that, to circle back to Chait, is what rankles conservatives. It is not the science, or Al Gore, but the notion that behind the discussion of climate models and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 lies a movement, typified by Beavan, that won't rest until it has imposed its vision of the properly "sustainable" life on the rest of us.

And we just like our toilet paper too much to give in.

Gregory Scoblete writes regularly about technology and politics at



Can't legislate morality
Liberals constantly remind morality can't be legislated.

Except, of course, whey they want to impose their morality upon the world.

Key US officials do the same
Timothy Wirth, US Undersecretary of State for Global Issues
"We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy."

richard Benedick, deputy assistant secretary of state who headed policy divisions of the US State Department.
"A global warming treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect."

Key UN official admits the goal of Kyoto
Maurice Strong, senior advisor to Kofi Annan. Chaired the "UN Conference on Environment and Development", 1992.
Reponsible for putting together the Kyoto Protocol.

"We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse."

"quest for poverty ... reduced resource consumption ... and set levels of mortality control."

Most warming in California in the last 50+ years caused by urbanization

Urban Heat Island Effect ("UHIE")
What that article is describing is the Urban Heat Island Effect. It is not a measure of global warming, it's just a measure of the concrete and asphalt concentrated in a given area.

from :

Urban Heat Island Effect ("UHIE") 28 Nov 2004
"An Urban Heat Island is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its surroundings. As population centers grow in size , they tend to have a corresponding increase in average temperature. Not to be confused with global warming, scientists refer to this phenomenon as the "Urban Heat Island Effect" (UHIE). There is little controversy in the existence of the UHIE. What is more controversial is whether, and if so how much, this additional warmth affects the (global) temperature record. The current state of the science is that the effect on the global temperature record is small to negligible."

There's a link for more info at the url.

Much of the warming that is blamed on GHGs, is actually the result of UHIE.
A recent study out of China found that 80 to 85% of the warming in China, over the last century, could be attributed to UHIE.

I gave the link to the study in a posting on one of the recent Global Warming posts.

This is very Insightful
I am so glad I stumbled onto this site. The essays are so well written and thought out for the most part. This piece was great.

You know, I try to inform people that the mass media is biased and it is very biased to the left. But that is not the biggest foible of the mass media. The fact that the mass media has so few treatments of issues like you see on this site is the biggest weakness (and others too). I mean sometimes Time magazine or US News (and some others) will print some pretty good opinion pieces but they are but a small slice of the mass media. TV news is horrible even the Sunday morning shows.

This particualar piece was very insightful and I hope the operators of this site get to read this post too.

yes, and why is that
UHIE causes temperature increases in very measurable amounts (several degrees F) and the effect, in varying degrees, is felt anywhere there is more than a couple hundred buildings with concrete sidewalk and paved street access (not just large metro areas). The higher the concetration, the larger the effect. also, air teperature "blends" where areas of higher temperature meet areas of lower temperature, thus UHIE warms beyond its causation bountry by a lesser degree as you get further away from the source.

Now add in the fact that a very large number of weather reporting stations are in cities and towns; many in metropolitian areas. Since we are talking a global temperature increase of about 1 degree F it is hard for me to understand how the UHIE can be called "negligible" and be ignored.

Sounds like bad science to me, but so do a lot of the AGW "facts".

Bloodsuckers smelling blood ...
Those are the sounds you've quoted here. Money and power, baby, and lots of it: That's what global warming means to bureaucrats, scientists and politicians.

And If you believe that the UHIE has a negligible effect on the instrumental record...
I have this bridge I'm willing to sell you.

The temperature measuring stations need electricity. That means they are frequently located near a building. I have seen a picture of one supposedly rural station located within a few feet of an HVAC heat exchanger, not to mention the walls of the building itself.

You's almost too perfect...
If a priest could dream up such a thing as "global warming...we are all going to die...we can save mankind if we sacrifice ourselves" as a power would only be surpassed in history by the Aztec human sacrifices to keep the Sun moving across the sky. Now that was power!

Yeah were stupid
Conservatives could not possible be highly educated scientist that could make a rational judgement unlike a idiot reporter.

Nope, were deniers of global warming. We need to be silenced. How dare we subvert the religion of the left?

The left seeks to subvert the masses by fear, as always. Create a crisis. Conservatives seek personal freedom for all and are branded Nazi's. The left seelk to rule all aspects of our lives and they are called progresive and profess freedom.


The road to hell is paved with good intent.

Jim Jones
I remember some folks like that, Jim Jones and his followers. Maybe this is where the phrase "KoolAid drinker" comes from? I wonder why religion is susceptible to death cults. Do such people really believe they're better off dead, or that their death serves any broader purpose because they did it themselves according to rules only they know and apply?

And I wonder how one goes about fashioning a new religion, like global warming. What are the key components, how do they fit together, and what's the best configuration?


liberals and toilet paper
Here's some tips for low impact liberals. In much of the world they don't even use toilet paper at all, and this fact must make liberals feel even more guilty than they already are. So I suggest they emulate the rest of the world and wipe their bums with their hands too. Here's one for women. In much of the world girls don't use tampons and such for their period. Some use a kinds sponge and then wash it out, and some use actual rags and wash them. Presumably western girls also originally did that too, hence the english expression, 'on the rag'. So western liberals women should be put on the spot if they cannot justify the wasteful and harmful disposable stuff.

Atrocious grammar
"Conservatives could not possible be highly educated scientist that could make a rational judgement unlike a idiot reporter.

"Nope, were deniers of global warming. We need to be silenced. How dare we subvert the religion of the left?"

Is this even English? Please at least make an attempt to be coherent. Your message would find a much readier audience if it were delivered in a coherent form. I can't even figure out what you're talking about.

Pleas try again.

Urban heat islands are not man made?
Any correlation between temps and the UHIE can be corrected by better placement of the monitoring stations. As you can see by the following two maps there is no correlation between the areas of greatest observed heating and urban concentrations:

That said... you do realize you have just admitted that the warming is real, and is man-made? Six and a half billion people, maybe half of them living in urban areas, certainly do by their activities increase the degree of overall warming. They are just far from being the most major causes-- thus their concentrated populations do not correlate with the areas of greatest observed warming.

Speaking of links, all the links in the Grist article are worth reading.

Heap big mojo
The weird thing about the High Priests of Global Warming is they can perform the same trick the Inca priests did during their ceremony of Inti Huatani, where they brought the sun back from its wayward travels.

These modern day priests are actually making the world hotter. 2006 was, once again, the hottest year on record. How in the heck do they do that?

Typing skills
Despite 20+ years of writing software and using computers I type badly and slowly.

I was also exhausted yesterday. You are right, it is poorly written. I apologize and will restate my observations of the left more clearly soon.

Passing the pipe
dbt, Thank you for meeting me halfway. I will do the same.

What I've observed over the past sixty-odd years is that Right and Left are mirror images of a sort. We both believe passionately and sincerely, based on our interpretations of our own life experiences. And on things we've read.

I'm on this blog, either a missionary among savages or a savage among missionaries, to try to jog people to think a little deeper about their slogans. And in the process you, collectively, enable me to re-examine my own. I think that's a healthy activity.

After a while I noticed that my own tendency to rant, conduct tirades and in general insult the audience was being counterproductive. The point I intended was to present another side to the argument, and try to engage someone in a debate over substance. And so I've tried to tone myself down.

I admire the vigor with which you uphold your beliefs. I would also offer that there are other, equally valid interpretations possible in our rich and varied political life. Where one person sees the need to destroy Communism, or Terrorism, or some other Ism, for instance, I see the disruption of thousands or millions of lives. And I question the worth of the endeavor, when the effort has so many unintended victims. Other perspectives are possible.

So we have things to talk about. I knew you were tired, or rattled. I was needling you. I hereby withdraw the needle. And invite you to offer more comments-- preferably those that shed more light than heat on the issues.

BTW I make a lot of typos too. What I try to remember is to go back over my post and correct them before sending it. So, like a peace pipe, I will share that little secret.

Buncha dummies
You're not the first to have noticed the signal may be obscured when the monitoring station is positioned atop a smokestack. NASA has figured that out as well, and corrected for it. Here's a good, quick article on that:

"GISS takes explicit steps in their analysis to remove any such spurious signal by normalizing urban station data trends to the surrounding rural stations. It is a real phenomenon, but it is one climate scientists are well aware of and have taken any required steps to remove its influence from the raw data."

And here's some more on the methodology:

The closer I look at what they're actually doing, the less dumb I think those scientists are. They think about this stuff all the time, trying to refine their data sets.

At any rate, does the existence of urban heat islands qualify as man-made global warming?

In the same light..
Speaking of lives disrupted...

I found this interesting.

It's a problem of trust

I tend to avoid realclimate, even though I probably should suck it up and ignore the cheerleading, because they have a tendency to censor posts they don't like. Personally, I'd rather sort the wheat from the chaff myself.

"GISS takes explicit steps in their analysis to remove any such spurious signal by normalizing urban station data trends to the surrounding rural stations. It is a real phenomenon, but it is one climate scientists are well aware of and have taken any required steps to remove its influence from the raw data."

Who says the surrounding stations are actually rural? So why is it impossible to find out the details of these steps? Neither GISS nor the Hadley Climate Research Unit are forthcoming with the details of their methods. Here's a direct quote from Phil Jones of the Hadley CRU: "We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it." Does that sound like the scientific method to you? Shooting holes in your pet hypothesis is what peer review is SUPPOSED to do. Not only that, but the meta-data that is needed for correction of historical data was never archived in the first place for a lot of stations.

UHI is not a significant contributor to actual global warming. Whether it is a contributor to measured apparent global warming is another story. Land use/land cover, OTOH, is a different story.

The process of re-education
I find the article interesting as well. From this and other comments I'm thinking you're a Vietnam vet, believed STRONGLY in the cause and have retained this period as a defining factor in your character.

Statements like this keep the memory strong-- but they are false history:

"The Congressional vote in 1975 signaled the North Vietnamese government that it was finally safe to launch an overwhelming military attack on the young democratic government of South Vietnam. What ensued in Vietnam was cataclysmic. Close to one million people in Vietnam were executed in "re-education camps" instituted by the now unified Communist government. These killings did not go unnoticed in Vietnam and elsewhere. The unified Communist government sought to kill anyone deemed a traitor by their cooperation with the American power that previously sustained the democratic government of South Vietnam."

The puppet government was never "attacked"-- it collapsed. By the time the NVN troops got to Saigon there was no more government. No military actions were fought.

And the number of one million is a good approximation of the number of collaborators who were sent to reeducation camps. But they were not death camps. They were for reeducation.

Conditions were harsh, and people did die. Malnutrition, disease and rugged conditions, including hard labor for soft hands that used to work behind a desk accounted for many lives. The estimate is in the tens of thousands.

Here are a couple of sources. But I urge that you read further. Nothing comparable to the tiger cages we used to put VC in existed, and execution seems to have been rare.

The issue worth putting into perspective is that the conflict initially arose as a case of foreign meddling in a domestic problem. And the problem was to determine the kind of government an independent Vietnam would have after the war. Against the wishes of the people the Americans brought the French back to rule over them again. And after the French were defeated, America took over the role, as seen in Vietnamese eyes, of the hated foreign oppressor.

Where you see a war of communist domination, the people saw a war of colonial occupation. And the largely Catholic area around Saigon was the only part of the country that wanted to retain a quasi-French life style. So they backed candidates and parties that opposed Ho's Communists. No one else did.

Dwight Eisenhower-- a credible observer-- said this of the situation in 1954, before we even engaged there:

"I have never talked or corresponded with a person knowledgable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting [the Vietminh against the French] possibly 80 percent of the population would have voted for Ho Chi Minh."

Now my question is this: how can we believe we are spreading democracy when we oppose the wishes of eighty percent of the population. Does this not go by the name of aggression?

We fundamentally disagree on this, I know. But think to yourself how you would feel if a more powerful nation than yours sent huge flotillas of planes, bombs and soldiers to keep you from exercising your own right of self determination. Would you join the puppet government and get a nice fat job? Or would you be one of those in the resistance?

I would suggest your belief in the alleged millions of innocent lives murdered by the evil Communists is a hedge against the guilt we collectively share for going halfway around the world to kill people we had never even met. If "they" can be seen to have killed more than "we", there is no guilt. Hence the falsification of history.

That is my opinion. I regret any anger this may stir up inside you.

Bown Down and Worship the Green Gods
"That said... you do realize you have just admitted that the warming is real, and is man-made?"

Ah, I knew that the religioso, Reverend Beanie, would not be able to resist posting!

Mark admitted no such thing, you twit. The evidence AGAINST man-made climate change (and yes, please, let's be accurate: it is climate change, not "global warming"; kind of like how Indians live in India and Native Americans live on the American continents) is overwhelming in fact. With every passing day and every newscast, the fanaticism of people like yourself becomes more and more rarefied and more and more set in relief against the clear-headed rationality of those who realize that "it's the sun, stupid" (just ask the Martians, who have no factories and make no CO2 emissions).

You talk out of both sides of your mouth, like all religious fundamentalists. The "High Priests of Global Warming" are ineffectual, but YOU have true religion, while they have mere "magic" (used in the disparaging sense of the word). And the green gods forbid that we faithless unbelievers discourage the faithful from attending to your message of fire and brimstone and sin and doomsday.

It's disgusting. I mean really.

Think it through a little more
You give up rather too easily. If you distrust realclimate, you can always go directly to GISS and look at the data yourself:

The bottom line is this: all recorded data reflects the microclimate at the precise location of the weather station. You can often find more temperature variation in a hundred yards than you can in a hundred years. That is an obvious fact.

But what they are measuring is not absolute temperature at some hypothetical average location. They are taking time measurements at hundreds of locations. And for those to give the CHANGE in temperature they only require a single thing: that the locations of the stations not be moved.

Some stations may be near habitation. Others might be out on the slopes of remote mountains. The averaging effect of having hundreds of locations accomodates that problem very nicely.

So that for recording *changes* in temperature, it seems to me that the proximity of some stations to dwellings and others to ice caps, oceans or forests is not an important factor. Can you offer a significant objection?

Try producing convincing evidence, not slurs
Let me remind you that the subject line of Mark's comment was "Much of the warming that is blamed on GHGs, is actually the result of UHIE." That admits that there is demonstrable warming, and that much of it comes from one anthropogenic cause. I'm just reading what he wrote.

Nearly every year we're setting new records. 2006 has again been found to be the warmest year on record. Innumerable data points all point in the same direction. Yet it's you accusing me of taking the matter on faith.

This whole equation of science with superstition is evidence of an intent to corrupt the process of thought itself. Try instead finding data that supports your interpretation: that the major ice shields and mountain glaciers are not melting, that the permafrost isn't melting, that climate is exceedingly well measured and the measurements nearly all point in the same direction, etc etc.

You can begin by explaining the two sides of my mouth I am talking out of. What are they?

Yes I can
The GISS data is the adjusted,not raw data. The station locations do change. The surroundings change. The population in the vicinity of the station changes. The skyline can change for a variety of reasons including foliage growth or building construction. Again, for many stations this meta-data has never been archived. None of these has a significant effect on the use of the data for weather forecasting where +/- 1 degree is sufficiently precise. Climate change, however, is about changes of less than 0.02 degrees/year. Speaking as an analytical chemist with some experience in precise temperature measurement, I remain unconvinced that the data is fit for the purpose of detecting variations in climate change with anywhere near the precision claimed by GISS or Hadley.

Supporting data?
Have you looked for any supporting data? Nearly all Arctic stations have reported warmer temps. Are there any that show cooler temps?

Across the Arctic the melting permafrost and associated slumping have been examined at great length, both in Siberia and in North America. Any evidence anywhere of fresh permafrost being created? How about across the Tibetan Plateau?

Mountain glaciers. Nearly all retreating, some rapidly. A handful advancing.

Biological zones all moving toward the poles. Any species not migrating poleward? Anywhere on earth? How about in the sea, where fishing fleets follow the precise routes of their schools?

The ONLY major area undergoing current cooling appears to be the interior of the Antarctic continent. And local conditions there make it quite unlike those elsewhere on earth.

It's odd indeed that of all the things that can happen to change the microclimate at a given measurement station, you believe they all give positive errors, none negative errors.

But with your being familiar with research protocols, I invite you to justify this belief.

I like depriving myself of things- it's fun!
I think that is from an old Seinfeld episode. I hope No Impact Man is having fun, and hope he does not extend his fun to depriving me of things.

Very large batches of data points
"The GISS data is the adjusted,not raw data."

Adjusted in what way, if you could give me a tutorial?

Here's a list of GISS stations:

Do these look like places undergoing a lot of development? Some few will certainly have sudden jumps, as something changes in their vicinity. But owing to the large number of stations these will immediately pop out as being anomalous.

Our local weatherman, for instance, relies on remote stations to give accurate temps around the state. Occasionally one station will show up as ten degrees colder or warmer than all the rest, perhaps from a car being parked next to it. Is compensating for such glitches what you mean by "adjusted data"?

I think the fact the we have a very large array of points ensures a certain overall accuracy in the information being measured. Or would you agree?

Did I say it wasn't warming?
No, I didn't. Can you say straw man? The Arctic is definitely warming. The satellite data, which is a truly independent and more spatially uniform data set than the surface record clearly shows the NH and particularly the Arctic has warmed significantly, especially since 1995. The SH is a different story. The trend there from the satellite data is not statistically significant. Also, the satellite data has been diverging from the GISS and Hadley averages since 2001 with the satellite data indicating little temperature change over that time while GISS, which is also diverging from the Hadley CRU compilation, says there has been steady warming to a level higher than 1998 during the super El Nino.

Here's the URL for the UAH version of the satellite MSU data:

The RSS version isn't all that different. You might want to look here: ,
Roger Pielke, Sr.'s blog, for more about the limitations of surface temperature as a metric for assessing climate change and global warming. Or the concentrating on reducing greenhouse gases as the only important means of mitigating anthropogenic climate forcing.

In terms of creating a global average temperature accurate to +/- 0.05 degrees, it's actually a problem that the stations are always the same. You wouldn't poll the same 1000 people every time to see who's ahead for President. The same sampling problem applies to measuring a global average temperature always using the same stations, which only report temperature to the nearest degree.

Attribution of climate change to anthropogenic causes, not to mention calibration and tuning of climate models, depends on precise, accurate data. As far as I can tell, the historical data we have is not sufficiently accurate and no amount of manipulation can make it more accurate because the information doesn't exist. If Hadley and GISS would submit to independent auditing by qualified metrologists and statisticians I might change my opinion. So far they haven't and I'm not holding my breath

But it is such a lousy business...
I agree that the business of religion is fundamentally attractive. No manufacturing. No real services to be rendered. The overhead (real estate) is a big empty shell typically built on an expensive urban lot and supported by contributions. Most of your labor is in the form of volunteers. And you are tax exempt!

Now that secular governments should not need a state religion to trump the conflicting behaviors of mixed cultures as conquered people are blended into new civilizations, large religions are anachronistic. It will be interesting to see how these institutions validate their continued existence during the next 2-3 centuries.

In the meantime, big religion is not going away anytime soon. All such entities are self-perpetuating, the best of them have a great deal of wealth and each enjoys a culture of behavior with a life all its own.

The Roman Catholic Church, as an example, really has its drill down to an artform. With the Vatican they even have a sovereign state. Now, that's thinking ahead! The Church should endure in some form into perpetuity. Unless they do something truly stupid (like letting their priests get married) that would fundamentally reduce their asset base. Getting sued over sexual abuse by some priests should be a wake-up call.

Religion probably has something positive to contribute to society. But creating a new religion would be a pretty lousy undertaking. The Church of Scientology? Launched by a crank philosopher who was clearly a full-time hustler. Such a deal!

My religion would be all about Santa Claus.

The Aztecs did it.
These modern priests are actually relying on the work of the Aztecs so long ago. Apparently they killed enough people to ensure that the sun (the source of almost all of the light and heat on Earth,) still comes up every day! Good job, boys! Tear out a beating heart for me!

As far as the Earth getting hotter, they have nothing to do with that. The sun is at a solar maximum, and so it is getting hotter because the gargantuan fusion explosion that heats our planet is a little bit more active than usual. Natural cycles (and things like the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age,) are a real pain in the rear for these priests to explain away, so they are simply deemed unmentionable.

One additonal reason the UHIE is critically important to this debate...
The UHIE seriously distorts the temperature record to favor AGW fans. It does this because of the changes in land use that have taken place around the temperature stations.

For example, many early airports were built on the outskirts of cities. Their temperature readings from these times reflect temperatures in the countryside/the urban-rural interface. Subsequently, the areas surrounding these airports are developed, and the area begins to warm in response. Thus, the temperature readings before and after development of these areas reflect totally different circumstances, and cannot be examined as a whole to detect changes in temperature.

Outside of astronomical observatories and some major naval depots, there are few temperature records that reflect an unchanged surrounding environment. With all of these problems in the temperature record, one would expect climate researchers to be searching for a way to seperate the climate signature from the noise of land-use, but most of them just take a guess as to what they think the development modifiers should be.

Guesses are not science. This whole debate is about seperating signal (climate shifts,) from noise (other factors that alter temperature,) in order to determine what impact, if any, humans are having on the temperature.

Of course, I know that Pauled and almost everybody in this forum already understands this. Those who do not are AGW believers, and would burn me at the stake if it would not create an unacceptable amount of greenhouse gas. *Sigh*

Too late; Santa Claus is already a Democrat ...
Who else but a Democrat would kidnap midgets, lock them in a sweatshop in ANWAR next to his oil well and pay them a non-living wage to make crappy toys just so he could look like a good guy? Can anyone give me a "Fat Al", ahem ... a halleluja?

For me, the main religions answer questions no other endeavor can. If the sum of these answers is "life" or "happiness", then the religions are worth their weight in gold. But if any other answer pops out, then there's trouble over the horizon.

according to some, it was the hottest year on record, according to others, it was barely average.

It all depends on whose torturing of inadequate data you choose to believe.

On the other hand, satellite data, which covers the entire earth, says that 2006 was no where near the hottest on record.

do you really enjoy playing the village idiot?
I never said that man has no affect on the planet. That's your paranoia speaking again.

What I have said over and over and over again, is that there is no evidence that CO2 has a major impact on climate and hence no need to destroy economies in order to limit it's release.

Are you really arguing that there is no such thing as UHI?
Even the darkest of alarmists admit that much.

your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired.
As you are apparently agreeing, UHI has a major impact on temperature readings.
So how do we know that this alleged warmest year actually is?
We have to first subtract out the UHI from the ground based readings before we can get an accurate reading of what the earth's actual temperature is.

Guess what. We have a method that does this. Satellite records. They accurately record the tempearature of the entire earth. Not just the 2500 recording stations concentrated in the US and Europe.

The satellite record says that there was nothing special about 2006.

It's more than buildings and concrete
California's Central Valley has warmed significantly in the last 100 years. The mountains to the east and west of the valley, have not. On one side it has even cooled a little.

The difference is that the Central Valley has become an agricultural mecca in the last 100 years. Especially with the advent of irrigation.

Lighter colored grasses have been replaced with dark green crops. Irrigation has pumped millions of tons of water into what was once desert air.

NOTE: Much of the warming in the valley occured as night time temperatures became warmer. Exactly what you would expect to happen if the air was becoming moister.

they claim to have adjusted, but the evidence is clear that they have not.
Until very recently, nobody has gone out and surveyed any of the recording stations. The only ones who have done so are the sceptics, and their work is usually ignored by the high priests of the global warming sect.

why are you trying to change the subject roy?
The subject has never been, does man change the climate.
Clearly he does.
The question is, how much of the change can be blamed on CO2.

I've seen studies done of entire regions
I've posted links to a few of them.

The problems with the ground based temperature measuring system are legion, and they are all biased to creating warmer readings. Not many, not most, ALL.

Add to this the fact that we only have 2500 stations trying to measure 100 million square miles of planet surface, and you have a huge credibility problem.

Then add the fact that most of those 2500 stations are concentrated in less than 5% of the world's surface area (US and Europe) and any credibility remaining goes completely out the window.

The arctic stations are recording the affects of the PDO.
Which is currently ending it's 30 year swing through the warm phase. The last time it was in the warm phase was the 1940's, when temperatures reached levels even higher than what we have seen recently.

In the next few years you are going to see dramatic coolings in the Arctic as the PDO swings to it's cool phase.

Some mountain glaciers are retreating, some are advancing. Most of those retreating are doing so for reason's other than warmer temperatures. Kilamanjaro for instance is actually cooling. The decrease in glacier is due to deforestation reducing winter snowfall.

changing methodologies
100 years ago, stations data was recorded by noting the daily high and daily low temperatures. If you think that you can figure out what the daily average temperature was by merely averaging those two numbers, you are probably an AGW alarmist. For those who know what they are talking about, you recognize how little we know about historical records, even as recently as 30 years ago.

It's only in the last few decades that the majority of stations started recording hourly readings.

The truth is we do not have a good handle on what the true temperature of the earth is today. We have even less idea as we go into the past. Even the fairly recent past.

I thought the road to hell was paved with lawyers?

I had no trouble figuring it out. I guess I'm just that much smarter than you.
But then, most of us already knew that.

A dram of knowledge
I see possession of a smattering of knowledge does not necessarily produce a renaissance man. You've picked up some of the words and ideas, but the Big Picture's still a little sketchy.

It was not the Aztecs with their Flower Wars but the Inca who performed the annual ceremony of Inti Huatana, or the Sun's Tether, above Cuzco, to coax the sun to return from its northward journey. Being in the southern hemisphere, they did this at the summer, not the winter solstice. And it has always been effective.

The Azrecs had other gods they sought to appease, like old Tezcatlipoca, a very unpleasant fellow who liked his priests to appear in the flayed skins of sacrifices.

Is the sun currently undergoing a warming phase? Yes it is. And as the extent of that warming is rather precisely known we can assign it a fraction of the value of the warming influence of carbon dioxide. In fact the sun's effect is pretty well cancelled out just with the cooling effect of our sulfate aerosols.

Your bandying about of learned phrases like the Maunder Minimum does not refute the evidence of the Antarctic ice cores. We have not seen this kind of warming for the past 800,000 years-- and we are still counting backward from that point.

Had we never lived, the natural cycle of an earth without man would be poised to enter a new ice age in the next several centuries or millenia. Whether or not it would be warming at all this year would largely be a matter of whether any major volcanic eruptions took place. It would certainly not be warming to the extent that it is with our help.

But you picture yourself as being familiar with the sun's activities. Would this then be the eleven year or the 22 year cycle you speak of?

there are more cycles under the sun, then are dreamed of in your philosophy
Including 100, 400 and 1500 year cycles.

Currently the sun is warmer than it has been at any time in the last 8000 years.

Temperatures in low space
UHI may impact some temperature readings. But if you look over the list of all stations you'll see most are far out in the boonies. Averaging thousands of data points helps a lot to clarify the picture and minimize inaccuracy.

Also, should anyone really be surprised that the temps at orbital altitudes, as measured by satellites, present a different picture than those at ground level? For that matter weather balloons, intermediate in altitude, present still a third picture.

There is a layer just above the troposphere, as I recall, that stays a constant 190 degrees F. Should we be measuring the temperature there, and extrapolating anything about conditions on the planet's surface?

Something is causing glaciers and snow caps worldwide to melt precipitously. I would offer that it's probably not the constancy of our weather.

I see you are still pretending that you know what you are talking about
Just because a station is in the boonies, is not evidence that there is no heat island around it.

Roy, if you knew what you were talking about, which would be a first, you would already know that the ballon readings agree with the satellite readings.

And I see you are still trying to pretend that averaging thousands of bits of bad data, can somehow remove the errors.

A few months ago roy declared that even though he acknowledged that Russian sites have a uniform warm bias, you can get rid of this bias by just averaging all the sites together.

Since the world's glaciers aren't melting, much less precipitously, your claim that something must be doing it, is weak at best.

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