Washington Post: Opinions on shape of earth differ

by John Quiggin on February 23, 2009

(Reposted from my blog, so the examples are Australian, but readers from other countries can easily substitute)

In one sense, the blogosphere has reached a near-universal consensus on climate change. Everyone who follows the issue at all closely agrees that there is no real debate. Instead, it’s generally agreed, we have a situation where (1) a large body of people devoted to serious scientific research is confronted by (2) pushers of silly Internet talking points who are ideologically motivated, financially driven or just plain delusional . The only disagreement is which group is which. Is group (1):

or is it

Broadly speaking, for anyone from politically left or centrist blogs the first answer is correct, and for anyone from the political right, the second answer is correct. As far as the mainstream media is concerned, Fox News, the Australian and some other outlets know where they stand.

But for establishment outlets like the Washington Post, the idea that either (nearly) all scientists or (nearly) all right-of-centre politicans and commentators are liars/hacks/self-deluded is rather hard to accept. So we get episodes like this one. (via Tim Lambert)

{ 97 comments }

1

JoB 02.23.09 at 10:28 am

John,

The first clause of your last either/or is not just a little bit misleading for what do they agree on? They agree that there is a substantial impact of human society on global climate, yes, but they’d disagree mostly on the predictions, let alone the policy trade-offs required.

Not being right-wing and all, I have never liked these bazooka arguments where everybody with a ‘little sense’ agrees on an unspecified X and therefore we need to do very specific and mostly unpleasant things. The right tends to react (and react, in their case means, overreact) for the right reasons to this.

I won’t pronounce on this specific journalistic error (there, I did pronounce), but the consensus you talk about is hugely annoying. The only truth of An Inconvenient Truth was that this needs to be high on the agenda – all the rest of it was science Hollywood-style.

Science is not very good at predicting what’ll happen in 20-50 years certainly not when there is a significant variable down to biology, sociology and psychology.

The worse of it will come when the right realizes that they have a good piece of mass hysteria in their hands and they could use it to the benefit of the established order.

2

Neil 02.23.09 at 12:08 pm

What JoB says. There is no consensus at all among the real experts. Some think the outlook is awful and that radical action is needed, whereas others the outlook is horrendous and that dramatic action is needed.

3

nina 02.23.09 at 1:28 pm

COMBIEN D ARGENT PUBLIC SARKOZY A T IL DETOURNE DEPUIS LE DEBUT DE SON MANDAT POUR SERVIR SON INTERET PERSONNEL ? En ce qui me concerne, lynchage, plagiat…etc En période de crise, voilà une question politique intéressante à débattre, avec du courage et de l’indépendance ?

4

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 1:36 pm

Neil, those are not the only two alternatives, you know. There are some who think the outlook is really scary and drastic action is needed. Balance, man, balance.

5

JoB 02.23.09 at 1:54 pm

Neil, Steve,

Ha-ha, exactly my point – what do you have to say except for hysteria disguised as a good joke?

6

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 1:56 pm

Run along little JoB, we’re talking about reality here. That’s clearly not your thing.

7

JoB 02.23.09 at 2:19 pm

So, big Steve, can you be more specific than ‘Ooh, scary!’ about your reality?

PS: I guess you missed the part where I said it should be high on the agenda, otherwise you are a little bit belittling for no apparent reason which would be little indeed

8

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 2:23 pm

So, big Steve, can you be more specific than ‘Ooh, scary!’ about your reality?

No, dumbass, I won’t do your homework for you. Accurate scientific information about climate change is readily available. Shut up and start reading it.

9

JoB 02.23.09 at 2:30 pm

The heat is getting to you I guess, I did not challenge climate change is an issue. I only believe it is a little bit more complex than you make out.

But I’m even more interested how low you will go just to prove my point of hysteria. Talk of the sacrificing a good joke of somebody else for your own ego ;-(

10

Rich Puchalsky 02.23.09 at 2:32 pm

“the idea that either (nearly) all scientists or (nearly) all right-of-centre politicans and commentators are liars/hacks/self-deluded is rather hard to accept”

They can’t admit it because the right-wingers are necessarily lying, not coincidentally so. Contemporary right wing ideology rests on the assertion that large social projects (those that create anything, that is, rather than destroy) are both unneeded and unworkable. Covering up for the right-wing war on science is something the WaPo does so that it can continue to treat right-wingers as part of elite opinion.

11

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 2:33 pm

I only believe it is a little bit more complex than you make out.

Standard denialist bullshit. Yawn.

12

JoB 02.23.09 at 2:38 pm

According to http://climatedebatedaily.com/'dissenting voices’ on climate change are such:

Essays and research challenging the view that the world warming that began around 1880 is caused by human activity, that it poses a serious threat, or that the vagaries of earth’s climate are within human control.

So, I’m not a dissenting voice.

Now you can continue to abuse me for no apparant reason ;-)

13

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 2:44 pm

Covering up for the right-wing war on science is something the WaPo does so that it can continue to treat right-wingers as part of elite opinion.Exactly, and they do it just as energetically with regard to the right’s flat-earth economics.

14

newshutz 02.23.09 at 2:45 pm

It is simple.

I will not worry about CO2 emmissions, nor credence any climate change claims, until the proponents begin to act like it is a real problem.

As long as nuclear power use is considered more dangerous than climate change, it cannot be a real problem.

15

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 2:50 pm

That’s nice. While you’re waiting you could always use the time to lern to spel, and also to learn that “credence” is a noun.

16

JoB 02.23.09 at 2:57 pm

Steve, Picking on somebody else now? Probably whilst you ‘lern to spel’, LOL

You could always try to treat others with the Principle of Charity, after all the nuclear question has been put on the table by those scientists with predictions on an order that does not allow to have effect with the traditional Gore-approach.

17

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 3:01 pm

Because, of course, fossil fuels and nuclear power are the only two alternatives. Science-deniers always love false dichotomies.

18

newshutz 02.23.09 at 3:05 pm

Steve,

Why should I believe your dire predictions, when you obviously do not believe them yourself?

You even seem to place more importance in the dangers of misspelling, than you do the dangers of climate change.

19

JoB 02.23.09 at 3:07 pm

No, Steve, because the prediction is so bad that the only measure that can be taken is building more nuclear power plants (whilst we invent new stuff, change our ways & what have you). It’s not my prediction but it’s part of the debate between scientists.

And I draw the line at science-denier; stop making ridiculous name-calling based on what you’re thinking somebody else is thinking without doing an effort of reading it.

You just like to be a bully and you happen to be on one radical side of the debate, no doubt you’ll go all conspiracy-theory on us next; but you could have been just as well on the other, because you’re just in it for the shout. Go work for WaPo!, they love characters like you.

20

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 3:08 pm

Why should I believe your dire predictions, when you obviously do not believe them yourself?

1. They’re not “my” predictions, though as a trained biologist I can certainly see plenty of handwriting on the wall of the biosphere. 2. I don’t care what you believe. As Philip K. Dick said, “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

21

Stuart 02.23.09 at 3:11 pm

And I draw the line at science-denier; stop making ridiculous name-calling based on what you’re thinking somebody else is thinking without doing an effort of reading it.

So if you aren’t a science-denier, you are an idiot repeating bad faith arguments started by science-deniers. That is so much better.

22

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 3:13 pm

There is no more a real “debate” on this subject than there is between evolutionary biologists and creationists. But you’re perfectly free to go on displaying your embarrassing ignorance. Don’t mind me.

23

newshutz 02.23.09 at 3:21 pm

as a trained biologist I can certainly see plenty of handwriting on the wall of the biosphere

As a trained computer scientist, I know the dangers of relying on computer models that do not produce accurate predictions.

I can rely on actual data to know that current temperatures are still well within historical bounds, not to mention geological ones.

I can rely on what research I have already done into the dangers of nuclear power.

The anthropogenic climate change alarmists think that it is less of a problem than nuclear power. I accept this judgment and calibrate the dangers accordingly.

If the Sierra Club and others begin to forcefully call for more nuclear power, then I will take the time to examine the issue. Till then, there is not much point in worrying about it.

24

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 3:29 pm

As a trained computer scientist, I know

nothing about the subject under discussion.

There, fixed that for you. You sound just like all those engineer creationists.

25

newshutz 02.23.09 at 3:33 pm

There, fixed that for you

Ah, that bit of dishonesty clears up a lot.

Thanks for exposing yourself.

26

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 3:35 pm

Thanks for the textbook example of projection.

27

Righteous Bubba 02.23.09 at 3:44 pm

As a trained computer scientist, I know the dangers of relying on computer models that do not produce accurate predictions.

You might want to reconsider the idea of assumptions that do not produce accurate inferences.

28

JoB 02.23.09 at 3:48 pm

Stuart, which bad faith-argument, please be precise and do not rely on what Steve Shout thinks I said. Man, is this proving to be an illustration of the fact John shouldn’t put these things as an either/or clause. It’s very disrespectful, and very unscientific for a social scientist, to couch all as an either/or (‘you’re with us or against us’, comes to mind – more than that, it is exactly what WaPo editorialists want to happen: no critical discussion in the public, every non-assentor is of necessity a dissenter, …

29

Martin James 02.23.09 at 3:51 pm

Steve La B.

So from a biological point of view, is the situation that we have evolved some organisms that are science deniers and another set that are science believers and that nature will get to sort out the competition by the number of survivors of each group generations down the road?

Ain’t competition a bitch.

30

JoB 02.23.09 at 3:51 pm

RB, so you are a big believer in the computer models that predicted banks were not at risk? Or you think that computer models predicting the future 30 years out are somehow safe because they happen to be about climate change?

PS: and no, again, I’m not denying there is a human made problem in need of some human made solution

31

onymous 02.23.09 at 3:55 pm

As a trained computer scientist, I know the dangers of relying on computer models that do not produce accurate predictions.

Excellent! You’ll be happy to hear that climate science is based on physics and empirical data, not just computer models. Also that the computer models that are used can postdict real trends quite well.

I can rely on actual data to know that current temperatures are still well within historical bounds, not to mention geological ones.

No, really, you can’t.

32

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 4:01 pm

JoB, here’s a free clue: nobody cares about your exquisitely nuanced opinions on a topic about which you know nothing. But as before, feel free to go on whining. It seems to give you some kind of enjoyment.

33

Righteous Bubba 02.23.09 at 4:02 pm

RB, so you are a big believer in the computer models that predicted banks were not at risk?

What I think is obvious is that expecting others to glom onto your wonderful solution to X and dismissing them if they don’t has nothing at all to do with the reality of X.

34

onymous 02.23.09 at 4:08 pm

By the way, John, your link to The Loom goes to its front page rather than a particular post. You might want to change that?

35

Stuart 02.23.09 at 4:11 pm

Stuart, which bad faith-argument, please be precise and do not rely on what Steve Shout thinks I said.

The most obvious one would be:

The only truth of An Inconvenient Truth

When talking about science, when someone goes off the rails and starts talking about whether things in a movie was true or false, you can safely assume nothing they say is worth paying attention to.

36

Colin Farrelly 02.23.09 at 4:15 pm

I am surprised by John’s characterisation that (all?) dissenters (dissenting from what is of course the important question, as JoB rightly notes above) are “ideologically motivated” or “delusional”.

I myself have no ideological stake in this debate, but I think those who label all dissenters as “anti-scientific” actually harm (and misunderstand) science. Let the debate be resolved by the data I say. And when there is limited data, conflicting findings, etc. you get disagreement. Given how enormous and complex the issues at stake are, we should adopt a *provisional* stance; one that is open to new empirical discoveries –whether these findings confirm or disconfirm our hunches.

Those who adopt the position “we have all the evidence we need, let’s take drastic action now” sound to me more like advocates of Bush’s war on terror than critics of his stance on the environment. So there is ideology and delusion on both sides of the debate here.

I think these issues are much more complex than simply being a disagreement between the “science” and “silly Internet talking points”. Science only progresses when we tolerate, indeed even encourage, our basic hypotheses and assumptions to be challenged and debated. That is one crucial difference between science and religion. Unfortunately for some reason this point gets forgotten when people start talking about the diverse range of factors that can influence variations in the globe’s temperatures. It is not surprising that people would disagree about this given how big and complex that question is, and how short the timeframe has been for serious scientific study of these questions.

Now there are some real examples of consensus in science. One is the consensus on natural selection in biology. This consensus arose after more than a century of gathering empirical evidence from fossil records, habitats, and molecular processes. This consensus was arrived at via an assessment of its scientific merits. The evidence for natural selection continues to mount to this day. Should a discovery be made that refuted, or seriously called natural selection into question, then scientists would (and ought to) take it very seriously.

While there are some political issues that arise in the context of biology (e.g. intelligent design), they are nothing like the political circumstances surrounding the environment. If Gore’s movie had been made after a hundred years of rigorous scientific research that confirmed a particular hypothesis concerning the globe’s climate then one could talk generally about a “near-universal” consensus. But it strikes me as premature to do so now, and dangerous (and unscientific) to demonise those who challenge that consensus.

Cheers,
Colin

37

Dave Maier 02.23.09 at 4:22 pm

That link’s going to get stale as soon as Carl updates his blog. Here’s the direct link.

38

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 4:22 pm

Let the debate be resolved by the data I say.

That’s already happened. There are always a few outliers, but there is about as strong a consensus in the relevant scientific communities as you’re ever going to see in the real world. (Indeed, there is now a rapidly solidifying consensus that things are going downhill much more rapidly than previously thought, and than presented in the movie that some of you curiously wish to discuss instead of talking about actual science.) Pointing only to the few remaining outliers is simply exposing your own ignorance and/or extra-scientific agenda.

People are always distorting the history of science by pointing out a few people dismissed in their time as cranks who turned out to be right. They conveniently forget that for every one of those there have been a thousand cranks who were just cranks.

39

onymous 02.23.09 at 4:22 pm

If Gore’s movie had been made after a hundred years of rigorous scientific research that confirmed a particular hypothesis concerning the globe’s climate then one could talk generally about a “near-universal” consensus.

There are several decades of rigorous scientific research on climate change (and a trickle of related work extended back a century), and the consensus is indeed near-universal. You are misinformed.

40

newshutz 02.23.09 at 4:26 pm

No, really, you can’t.

Yes, really, I can.

41

onymous 02.23.09 at 4:36 pm

You said “well within historical bounds”. Current temperatures are not. Yes, there were prehistoric times that were hotter. At any rate, what is unambiguously true is that we are destabilizing a climate that has been remarkably stable (relative to paleoclimate variations) for the last 10000 years.

42

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 4:39 pm

Yes, there were prehistoric times that were hotter.

And if he really wanted to learn something, noshitz could easily look up the predicted consequences for our world of attaining those temperatures again. Two-word summary: not pretty.

43

newshutz 02.23.09 at 4:55 pm

onoymous,

Yes, I could not quickly find a historical link, but here is one. The Medieval warm period is within historical bounds, and was warmer than today.

Projections rely on computer models that are still much too simple with respect to the phenomenon they model. None of the models predicted the current “hiatus” in global warming.

My main point still stands: Those that make extraordinary claims of coming doom still consider CO2 less of a problem than nuclear energy, so why should I worry?

That your side goes to such lengths to demonize even the most modest of questions, while still not taking their own claims seriously, would indicate something other than science is going on.

44

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 4:57 pm

That you speak of “sides” simply confirms that you’re a dumb hack. This is not a game, moron.

45

JK 02.23.09 at 5:20 pm

This is tiresome beyond belief, but the issue is important so I guess have a duty to attempt a productive contribution.

“Let the debate be resolved by the data” says Colin Farrelly. “That’s already happened” replies Steve Labonne.

So if I say that everyone needs to stop driving cars NOW, or else they are a delayer, which we all know is just another word for denier, can I claim that the science is on my side? What if I demand that everyone stop flying? What if I say we have to bomb China to stop them from building a new coal power station every week? Can science, on its own, tell us what constitutes “dangerous climate change”? Can science tell us whether some one who believes that it may be acceptable to contemplate 550ppm CO2 or 3 degrees warming should be cast out of polite society and ignored as a “denier” (of what exactly)?

Before asking whether “the debate” has been resolved can we please work harder to specifiy which “debate”, exactly, we are referring to. Picking holes in climate skeptic “science” is easy, but by now it has become an excuse for not engaging in what actually needs to happen. It turns out that’s a harder question.

46

onymous 02.23.09 at 5:34 pm

Tiresome, indeed. The Medieval Warm Period was not globally warmer than today. Locally all sorts of things can happen. The temperature anomaly inside my oven was hundreds of degrees while I was fixing dinner last night!

Anyway, this back-and-forth on whether temperatures have been warmer is ultimately almost completely irrelevant; we know that past climate changes were natural and the current one is our fault (and happening much faster than past changes). Not only is it our fault, but CO2 remains in the atmosphere long enough that the problem gets progressively worse the longer we fail to do anything about it. Already we have a temperature anomaly that is large on the scale of the past thousands of years. Not only does CO2 warm average global temperatures, it also acidifies the oceans, leading to other problems we should be concerned about.

Nothing in the previous paragraph is remotely controversial. On the one hand, I think ultimately it’s not worth talking to people who would contest it. On the other hand, we need public opinion to collectively change so that we can begin to deal with the problem. I’m not really sure how to bring that change about.

Nuclear energy might be one part of a cocktail of solutions; reasonable people can disagree about what role it should play. But it cannot possibly solve the problem on its own.

47

Colin Farrelly 02.23.09 at 5:40 pm

onymous says: “There are several decades of rigorous scientific research on climate change (and a trickle of related work extended back a century)”.

Even if that is so, the key issue is: do the several decades of rigorous scientific research (and work from a century ago) support the *same specific hypothesis* concerning the globe’s climate (as is the case with natural selection in biology)?

Cheers,
Colin

48

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 5:46 pm

It turns out that’s a harder question.

Indeed so. Which is precisely why we can’t afford the distraction of a phony “debate” about the easy question (a “debate” whose intent is to prevent any action at all).

Or in other words, what Righteous Bubba said @ #33.

49

JoB 02.23.09 at 6:07 pm

RB-33, I did not ‘present a wonderful solution to X’, I explicitly ackbowledged climate change as a man-made problem so please, before, howling with people that shout: read before applying tar and feathers to join a lynch party!

(my point is on long term predictions: obviously the measures we take now need some level of guidance as to how serious and irreversible this gets by when & there’s plenty of debate in that and an interesting discussion on science’s ability to predict accurately in this)

Stuart-35, Oh come on. I said that to make it clear I granted the main point, you really can’t be serious if that’s a bad faith thing to do. Yes, I dislike Al Gore (think: Tipper) & that has nothing to do with this as is clear from my granting his main point (in this).

On the rest, what JK said.

PS: being not so long here, nor so frequent – is it OK for people to bandy about ‘moron’ and ‘dumb hack’ based on nothing else than their testosterone levels?

50

Righteous Bubba 02.23.09 at 6:14 pm

RB-33, I did not ‘present a wonderful solution to X’

JoB, I was referring to newshutz’s stupid argument which I have a hard time believing was presented by somebody who claims to be a “trained computer scientist”. I didn’t really pay attention to what you were writing since you seemed to be somewhat loopy, but to the extent that you buy newshutz’s “the Sierra Club doesn’t want nuclear plants therefore [anything really]” you too are out of your mind.

51

Jim Harrison 02.23.09 at 6:19 pm

The greenhouse effect is called the greenhouse effect because ÇO2 and other gases act like the glass of a greenhouse. Unless you think that the jury is still out on whether you can really grow cucumbers under glass, you really should acknowledge that the physics underlying climate change modeling is rather more trustworthy than the economic assumptions that go into financial models. Let us keep in mind that economics is not the physics of money.

Forecasting climate change is, of course, a fantastically complicated undertaking and one can imagine scenarios in which the heating effects of increasing greenhouse gases have paradoxical consequences or are overwhelmed by countervailing tendencies. In fact, for the last couple of decades the science journals have published hundreds of papers examining just those possibilities. The current “debate” about global warming has very little to do with that conversation. It really is just the latest edition of cigarettes haven’t been proven to cause cancer, evolution is bunk, Obama wasn’t born in America. Which is to say it is a well-financed and utterly cynical PR campaign enlisting the enthusiastic support of a bunch of useful liberal arts idiots.

52

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 6:32 pm

Indeed, Jim, that’s what makes this stuff so goddamned annoying- those of us who didn’t just fall off the turnip truck have seen this movie so very many times before.

53

Marc 02.23.09 at 6:34 pm

Whenever I see someone complaining about the complexity of computer models I can’t take them seriously. First, do you honestly think that this hasn’t occurred to the people working in the field? We routinely employ average descriptions of the outcome of numerous random processes – this is called, for example, “temperature” or “pressure”. People explore, quite extensively, the impact of random events, numerical details, and physical assumptions in climate models. You can – arrogantly – dismiss all of this work with a brush of your Olympian mind. No one who knows anything about the topic will be moved.

Second of all there is basic physics. We know that people are changing the composition of the atmosphere (hint: natural sources and fossil fuel burning have distinct isotopic signatures.) We know what the direct response is – the heat gets trapped because it is more difficult for it to escape the Earth (primarily in IR light), while the (mostly visible) light from the Sun is not prevented from entering. Climate change deniers are asserting that somehow there is feedback in the system which prevents this completely predictable consequence. There is no support for this wish, however, in any systematic study.

Finally, we definitely see that the climate is changing and it is changing faster than expected. So you have sound physics, detailed modelling with extensive empiricial testing, and unambiguous physical evidence on the one side. And on the other people who claim that we can’t know anything because it is too complicated – and maybe, just maybe, we should perform a vast experiment on the planet with the hope that everything will turn out OK in the end.

54

James Wimberley 02.23.09 at 6:37 pm

What we need is a troll teleportation device. Troll off-topic comments would be automatically redirected to a site like Deltoid where knowledgeable people enjoy the workout of proving them wrong – and JoB and newshutz are tyros compared to Tim Curtin and Lance. Here they are just a distraction for a bunch of adults interested in the social sciences trying to contribute to solving a problem demonstrated to us by physical scientists. John’ s post was on the media treatment of climate change and denial. Thanks a lot to the two of you for wrecking the thread.

55

Rich Puchalsky 02.23.09 at 6:56 pm

Denialists aren’t worth arguing with (except, as above, for the people at Deltoid, Stoat,RealClimate etc. who specialize in that whether from a deep sense of public service or amusement or masochism or whatever). And the people arguing here are denialists. Ignore them. And no it doesn’t matter that they don’t think they’re denialists; it’s defined by behavior, not by self-image.

The social science involved is really rather interesting. WaPo has no direct coal or oil interests, as far as I know. Nor are they merely going the story as he said/she said; they’re going farther than that. The problem with characterizing the problem with journalism today is being a style of coverage is that the media actively act to preserve their ability to say he said/she said. If no legitimate other side of the story exists, WaPo will act to help create one.

Or, of course, there’s the Occam’s Razor theory which says that WaPo is now simply a right-wing paper.

56

Maurice Meilleur 02.23.09 at 6:59 pm

People, people: before the discussion of the greenhouse effect goes any further south, perhaps the participants would care to review Alastair Fraser’s discussion of it at web page devoted to the issue. Short version: the atmosphere does not work like a greenhouse for growing cucumbers. Pretending that it does is not a simplification, but a falsification.

Further note: this is not evidence against global warming. The point is to get the science straight in the hopes (faint as they might be) that encouraging people to get things right can be a prophylaxis against magical and wishful thinking and argument by analogy, the kinds of things that lead many people to deny warming in the first place.

57

Chuchundra 02.23.09 at 7:01 pm

I find this all so tiresome. I see the deniers all the time on one of the (non political) sites I run and it’s always the same bad arguments, lies and misleading statements. The “bad computer model” thing is fairly new, but it’s even more stupid than the usual blather.

A lot of times I just skip over those threads because I just don’t have the energy, but then I feel bad because this is an important issue and I shouldn’t let the nonsense go unchallenged. I feel the issue more acutely these days due in part to having a new baby in the house.

Can’t someone save me the trouble here? How about a simple, bullet pointed site called whyglobalwarmingisrealyoumoron.com with all the dumb arguments and lies in neat order and a paragraph or two with neat debunking.

58

Alex R 02.23.09 at 7:17 pm

Can’t someone save me the trouble here? How about a simple, bullet pointed site called whyglobalwarmingisrealyoumoron.com with all the dumb arguments and lies in neat order and a paragraph or two with neat debunking.

Done. (OK, it doesn’t have the nice name, but it’s pretty much what you ask.)

59

newshutz 02.23.09 at 7:30 pm

The “bad computer model” thing is fairly new, but it’s even more stupid than the usual blather.

Crooked Timber, indeed.

Have a nice self congratulatory time, I’m outta here.

60

Steve LaBonne 02.23.09 at 7:34 pm

It’s amusing the way climate-denial trolls like sameoldshitz behave in exactly the ways that are boringly familiar to those of us who have observed creationist trolls in action, including flouncing away in a huff once it penetrates their thick skulls that they’re in way over their heads.

61

JoB 02.23.09 at 7:47 pm

James, Jim,

You may not have noticed but I didn’t start out to gripe about science and I didn’t end up griping about science. The closest I came to science was to say, in effect, something along the lines of:

Forecasting climate change is, of course, a fantastically complicated undertaking and one can imagine scenarios in which the heating effects of increasing greenhouse gases have paradoxical consequences or are overwhelmed by countervailing tendencies. In fact, for the last couple of decades the science journals have published hundreds of papers examining just those possibilities.

It is obviously on topic when discussing what we should do about something to note it is not very easy to get to a detailed understanding of what, quantitatively, will happen. Part of what’s wrong with the media in this is WaPo, another part is Steve because he’s in effect obstructing any debate by resorting to name calling.

So, how bad is it going to be by when? What does that tell us about what we need to do? Do we, as I believe, need to build a huge ring of windmills costing 200BEuro? Or will it be too late for that anyway?

RB-50, so you quote me to get at somebody else & when you realize you compensate by making an off-hand comment that is not linked to what I said? Sneaky, something I would expect from those calling themselves ‘righteous’ ;-)

62

Rich Puchalsky 02.23.09 at 7:54 pm

Alex R’s link to Cody Beck’s list is a good one. I used to point people straight to RealClimate until I realized that that was still more than most people wanted.

63

Righteous Bubba 02.23.09 at 7:57 pm

RB-50, so you quote me to get at somebody else & when you realize you compensate by making an off-hand comment that is not linked to what I said?

JoB, in commenting on this thread I have referred only to newshutz’s stupid argument and my response to it. If you agree with me that he is a fool for proposing that because his solution to X is not embraced by the Sierra Club then X does not exist, please say so and we will both agree that newshutz was out of his depth.

64

JK 02.23.09 at 8:12 pm

James Wimberly says that global warming is a problem that has been handed by the physical scientists to the social scientists. I deny that. The need for energy and the way we generate it are social questions. The impact of climate change (like the impact of climate) is a social question. Would you also say that malaria and malnutrition are problems handed to social scientists by biological scientists? Probably today some people will say that, but I think there is a profound methodological error there.

How should society treat risk? What about inequality in exposure to risk, today or between future generations? Those are questions that need democratic debate, not resolution by scientific specialists, let alone physical scientists.

Rich Pulchalsky says he finds the social science involved in the Washington Post editorial page “really rather interesting”. Each to their own. Here are the social science problems I find interesting:

– The Great Rift Valley has vast geothermal potential. How can the resources be mobilised in places like Ethiopia to create the necessary investment?

– Dams on the Congo river could provide twice the energy of the Three Gorges in China. How can that be made a reality while ensuring that local people benefit, are decently treated and compensated for the need to move?

– Zambia could become a biofuel powerhouse. How to ensure that doesn’t conflict with food security?

– North African deserts could export massive amounts of solar energy to Europe. How will European concerns about energy security be met?

– South Africa is developing a new generation of nuclear energy. How to avoid US concerns over weapons proliferation and wider fears over accidents holding back use of nuclear energy in the developing world?

Rich can feel free to ignore me, saying I behave like a denier whether I understand it or not. It bugs me that he thinks he can come over superior to me, but ultimately it’s just pathetic. He can spend his time getting outraged over the fact that – shock! horror! – conservatives sometimes get to write newspaper opinion pieces. I will spend my time trying to ensure the world starts generating serious amounts of clean energy.

65

Chuchundra 02.23.09 at 8:15 pm

Thanks for the link, Alex R. It’s not quite the “for dummies” thing that I’m looking for, but it’s the most useful aggregation of climate arguments that I’ve see so far.

RealClimate is a great site, but a lot of their posts require a good deal of work to properly understand.

66

James Wimberley 02.23.09 at 10:00 pm

JK in #64: “James Wimberly says that global warming is a problem that has been handed by the physical scientists to the social scientists. “
I spell my name the way it’s printed. And I didn’t say what you say. What I tritely observed was that Crooked Timber is a mainly social science blog: the people here, even very well informed ones like John Quiggin, don’t expect to contribute to best estimates of climate sensitivity, say. It’s only ignoramuses who think you can even make a marginal contribution to a real science off the top of your head, let alone overturn the CW. (“Chancellor Grosseteste, aren’t all these Ptolemaic epicycles just too complicated? It doesn’t feel right!” “My son, do you have an alternative scheme that predicts the planetary motions as well as Ptolemy’s?”) What we can reasonably try to do is to contribute to the social science and politics of mitigation of global warming, and understand the pathology and epidemiology of its irrational denial.

None of us are likely to help either in lowering the cost of solar-grade silicon, developing power kites, carbon-sequestering cement, and nuclear fusion: all of which need doing, and require skills we don’t have.

67

Ben Alpers 02.23.09 at 10:06 pm

At what point to today’s denialists start shifting gears en masse to Bjørn Lomborg-like “anthropogenic global warming exists, but we shouldn’t do anything about it” arguments?

I think this thread shows the early signs of the shift, with adjectives like “drastic” being thrown around as blanket description of (largely unspecified) solutions to the problem.

Also: I don’t like Tipper Gore either, but she seems even less relevant to an evaluation of An Inconvenient Truth than the size of Al Gore’s house is.

68

salient 02.24.09 at 3:33 am

The closest I came to science was

With apologies to JoB, this has got to be the closest anyone has ever come on the Internet to inadvertently setting up the perfect retort.

69

joel hanes 02.24.09 at 3:55 am

What we need is a troll teleportation device. Troll off-topic comments would be automatically redirected to a site like Deltoid where knowledgeable people enjoy the workout of proving them wrong

Congratulations. You have just re-invented Usenet’s defensive “Followups redirected to talk.origins”.

70

carping demon 02.24.09 at 5:12 am

All. You can’t go home again. If the deniers are right, then all this fuss is wasted energy. If the deniers are wrong, then all this fuss is wasted energy because if global temp is rising as fast as it is thought to be, it is now far too late for our socioeconomic behaviour to arrest it. If we do not concentrate our efforts on figuring out how to live on a hotter planet, we’re dead.

71

Joseph Hertzlinger 02.24.09 at 7:26 am

I disagree with the consensus!

In other words, I see a large body of people devoted to serious scientific research who resemble a group of pushers of silly Internet talking points who are ideologically motivated, financially driven or just plain delusional confronted by another large body of people devoted to serious scientific research who resemble another group of pushers of silly Internet talking points who are ideologically motivated, financially driven or just plain delusional.

In other words, the global-warming crisis people resemble (at a distance) anti-nuclear activists and, to make matters worse, are unwilling to criticize them. At the same time, the global-warming non-crisis people resemble (at a distance) creationists and, to make matters worse, are unwilling to criticize them.

My usual position is to be suspicious of people saying “they say” instead of “it is.” I was inclined to be on the “global warming isn’t a crisis” side until the anti-warming people came up with their own version of “they say.” Clearly we need to take crisis measures. I recommend more nuclear power, burying carbon in landfills, and covering the oceans with reflective plastic.

72

JoB 02.24.09 at 9:44 am

Ben, salient,

Really, is this a contest for not missing the cheap shot or the smug blog retort? If so, I loose (but, luckily for me, I wasn’t pathetic enough to try to win). Yes, this Tipper ref. had nothing to do with anything but could be made because in the same line I granted the point of the movie so, come on!

Anyway, what I said before the shouting started was:

I have never liked these bazooka arguments where everybody with a ‘little sense’ agrees on an unspecified X and therefore we need to do very specific and mostly unpleasant things.

For instance what Joseph said (there were at least some people that did not give in to the peer pressure of ‘kill the isolated animal’ & dared to say something that could get mistaken for an independent opinion and consequently burnt at the stake of, hmmm, why not creationism?).

Take this:

http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/01/15/zeekracht-plans-by-oma/

I think we should go for it but it’s not a scientific question whether we do but the public will need some input and this input involves the reliability of long term predictions and a public discussion on it, whether James likes it or not.

73

Brett Bellmore 02.24.09 at 12:13 pm

“Nuclear energy might be one part of a cocktail of solutions; reasonable people can disagree about what role it should play. “

Ah, you see, there’s the problem: By any rational standard, we know hugely more about nuclear power than we do climate, but somehow there’s no room for reasonable people to disagree about climate, but there is room for reasonable people to disagree about nuclear power.

Yeah, right. Anti-nuclear activists are allies of, where they’re not one and the same as, global warming activists. So at best you’re willing to look the other way, at worst you’d rather see the world roast than resort to a proven technology you disapprove of.

I must agree with the above comment: I’ll take this seriously when the people yelling about it are willing to contemplate solutions they didn’t want anyway. It’s a reasonable heuristic for assessing threats I can’t spend a lifetime getting up to speed on.

74

Mattias 02.24.09 at 12:48 pm

There are environmental activists that are both yelling about climate change and changing their stance on nuclear energy.

http://www.newstatesman.com/environment/2008/08/lynas-climate-nuclear-coal

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/feb/20/george-monbiot-nuclear-climate

75

Maurice Meilleur 02.24.09 at 12:50 pm

Well, who says you can’t learn something from watching people who don’t know what they’re talking about argue with people who do? Here’s what I learned:

1. Even if you’re right, calling your opponents a bunch of names makes you look petty and stupid. On the other hand, remaining civil and letting your opponent slap your hand away for all to see (worst-case scenario) or actually shaking it (best-case) at best makes an ally, at worst makes your opponent look petty and stupid. Well, actually, I learned that from Obama. But still.

2. Deniers have a new reason not to lift a finger to do anything about global warming.

— Global warming isn’t happening.
— Global warming is a hoax.
— Global warming is happening, but it’s not caused by humans, so there’s no point in doing anything about it.
— Global warming is happening, but it’s still not as warm as … (the Middle Ages in Europe, for example), and people did fine then, so there’s no point in doing anything about it.

And now:

— Global warming may be happening, but if it were, the people most worried about it, if they were serious, would support [a policy I’d be supporting even if global warming weren’t happening]; since they aren’t supporting it, they can’t be serious, so I conclude that global warming isn’t happening.

I’ll say this about the new argument: it’s airtight.

76

Maurice Meilleur 02.24.09 at 12:53 pm

Conveniently, it is also waterproof.

77

Righteous Bubba 02.24.09 at 3:51 pm

78

Joe 02.24.09 at 7:27 pm

Instead of arguing about global warming, why not worry about carbon dioxide caused ocean acidification? The science (Henry’s law) is a single equation with measurable inputs. A recent published work from PNAS:
http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/1848.full.pdf+html?sid=ef360dd9-e872-4965-98f7-95d4891161f8

And since this is crooked timber where are the skeptics of a regulatory regime to fine-tune our climate. It worked so well with another complicated (nearly impossible to model) system, the economy.

79

roy belmont 02.24.09 at 8:36 pm

Richard Pryor soaked in ether, just about to light that freebase pipe.
Whump!
Shock, distant register of pain, bad smell.
And then right back at it.
The problem isn’t the ether, or the lighter.
Big campaigns in the MSM tv primetime news ads by Exxon GE etc, all based on the unquestionable sanctity of current energy demand.
Demand.
Which is where the flaw is, not in the technologies, flawed and unsustainable and poisonous as they may be.

80

roy belmont 02.24.09 at 9:30 pm

One aspect of this that isn’t surfacing is the logical jump from “reducing carbon footprint” to “reducing carbon feet”.
One way to reduce demand is to reduce the number of those demanding. This is an invisible but growing reaction to the problem as it’s set out. So the answer becomes either nuclear power or eugenic cull.
Which is still not addressing the root cause, which is the selfishness of demand, and the unquestioned consecration of that selfishness.

81

Righteous Bubba 02.24.09 at 9:34 pm

So the answer becomes either nuclear power or eugenic cull.

Please step away from the Heinlein books.

82

Rich Puchalsky 02.24.09 at 9:42 pm

Ah, typical denialist thread. “Why are people calling me names? *Sob*” alternating with “Al Gore is fat!” and a little bit of “If people were serious about global warming, they’d listen to me. Since no one is listening to me, I can only conclude…”

All right I’ll answer one guy:
“And since this is crooked timber where are the skeptics of a regulatory regime to fine-tune our climate. It worked so well with another complicated (nearly impossible to model) system, the economy.”

We have a model, actually. It’s called the Montreal Protocol. It had all the same objections raised beforehand, and has worked quite well at little cost. The difference between this and “the economy”, you see, is that we’re not really fine-tuning anything, we’re just building different things that what we used to build.

83

Marc 02.24.09 at 9:49 pm

The whole business about nuclear power in this thread follows from an utterly false premise. Whenever this subject comes up you have people who chip in and assert, without evidence, that all liberals still hate nuclear power and that environmentalists haven’t changed their mind because of climate change. This is, in fact, false; many environmentalists have changed their minds. Or, like me, they never had a problem with nuclear power in the first place. There is a serious discussion in the environmental community about nuclear power now.

It isn’t a panacea. Uranium is rare (especially if you want to scale its use up drastically); building power plants takes time; there is waste to deal with; and of course we have a lot of diffuse emission sources. None of these are fatal but they do have to be dealt with.

But the nuclear advocates just keep on repeating their claim even in the face of contrary evidence – e.g. that the folks on the other side are willing to change their beliefs in the face of new information. This only makes sense if nuclear power is really just being used to mock the hippies. They can’t take yes for an answer because they want an excuse for inaction – not nuclear as one component of a response to climate change.

84

Rich Puchalsky 02.24.09 at 10:04 pm

And, of course, there are good reasons why groups like the Sierra Club might not support nuclear power. In addition to all the problems that Marc mentions, it’s simply not the first thing that needs to be done. Renewable sources are far quicker to get going and have a lot less resistance — whether you think that fears of nuclear power are overblown or not, all you need is one more TMI incident, much less a Chernobyl, and if you’re basing work against global climate change on that, there goes your whole strategy. And the primary retort of nuclear power people, that it’s needed for baseline power, doesn’t really hold up. All you need are modern, efficient transmission lines and a lot of pumped power storage.

But really — and I have no expectation that anyone here will actually understand anything about actual politics, given the recent thread on lead in toys, but I suppose it’s worth a try — even if nuclear power were the A-1 panacea that it really isn’t, it would still probably be a bad idea for the Sierra Club to support it. That’s because politics works through coalitions. The Sierra Club need not be boosters for nuclear power, especially when that might turn off the Sierra Club’s base. All that they have to do is be more interested in working to end global warming than they are in opposing nuclear power — which they are — and if it is such a good idea, then industry will be happy to lobby for it and the coalition as a whole will be stronger than its parts.

85

John Quiggin 02.24.09 at 10:35 pm

The other thing that is striking about pro-nuclear arguments is the suggestion that “we” should build these plants. The implication seems to be that some sort of command-and-control mechanism is needed.

If you want nuclear power to succeed other than by compulsion, the absolutely necessary condition is a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme to remove the cost disadvantage relative to coal.

Given the lack of useful recent experience, no one really knows how much a modern greenfield nuclear power plant, with the regulatory processes needed to ensure safety, would cost. But the minimal interest shown in new projects under the very favorable regulatory regime of the Bush Administration suggests it’s not only costlier than coal but also costlier than the cheapest renewable sources, such as wind.

But, to be absolutely clear, if adequately regulated modern nuclear plants can be built at a competitive price, I’m all for it.

86

Righteous Bubba 02.24.09 at 11:15 pm

But, to be absolutely clear, if adequately regulated modern nuclear plants can be built at a competitive price, I’m all for it.

Proof climate change is real!!!

I’m still opposed but “if adequately regulated modern nuclear plants can be built at a competitive price” is an awfully hard thing to disagree with given its openness. Apparently designs like this are less hazardous than the norm. We’ll see I guess.

87

Righteous Bubba 02.24.09 at 11:16 pm

I see CT software wisely removes multiple exclamation points. Anyway, punctuate after “real”.

88

Xmas 02.25.09 at 12:28 am

newshutz

I have a better argument for you to use.

As long as Cape Wind is more dangerous than climate change, it can’t be a real problem.

There is no cure for AGW that doesn’t run headlong into some stupid-ass NIMBY protest or takes money away from those that can afford it least.

-x(corporate tool of “Big Wind”)mas

89

roy belmont 02.25.09 at 12:38 am

RBu-
I for one am happy to see a recalibration of your barbative weaponry displayed, though maybe I’m just generally more tolerant these days, and finding optimistic signs wherever I can.
Mine isn’t the Heinlein line, quite the reverse. But it’s a real, growing, yet virtually invisible mind-set.
I first heard it decades back during an oil crunch spasm thing, when a perfectly sane, generous, intelligent hard-working friend of mine’s response to the diminished supply of fuel, which he depended on for his livelihood far more than the average user, was that if there weren’t so many worthless jerks burning millions of gallons of gas doing nothing productive with their worthless insignificant lives, or words to that effect, then hey there’d be plenty for fine upstanding souls such as himself.
Given the present circumstance is far more intense vis a vis resources, population, and allocation, that attitude’s increasing in popularity.
And understandable nobody in an identifiable public position would be advocating it.
It is not my position. At all.
It is the position of soft genocide, neo-eugenicists, racial supremacists, and my unsupported but sincere claim is that it’s big enough to need cutting down.
Marc-
“Uranium is rare… there is waste to deal with… None of these are fatal”
Uranium’s mined mostly on marginal land, where surprise surprise are to be found marginalized people.
Cancer rates in the American Southwest among Native populations living near uranium tailings are disturbingly above the expected norm.
Sure science that can put robots on Mars could mine uranium without poisoning the neighbors, but I see no awareness of that aspect of the problem as anything but more of the same old “got to break eggs to make an omelette”.
Hard to know what exactly is meant by “fatal” in that context.
Fatal to someone, but as long as it’s nobody I know…?
As to which attitude see the reply preceding.
The waste thing, same same.
We could wrap up something as toxic and nearly immortally dangerous as spent nuke fuel, could potentially make it safely permanently contained until long past its expiration date, but where is the precedent for that level of responsible behavior?
Aside from hippies and organic farmers.
Voluntary simplistics. Indigenous traditionals.
The Amish.
Etc.
Or pretty much the people least responsible for the present dilemma.
None of whom seem likely to seize the reins of power.
By defining the problem as technologic inaccuracy, as mechanical progress that needs only to be redirected, the moral dereliction and willful lack of vision which led to this can be safely ignored. For now.
Which suits the visionless and amoral just fine.
Right living first.
The rest will follow.

90

Righteous Bubba 02.25.09 at 12:54 am

And understandable nobody in an identifiable public position would be advocating it.
It is not my position. At all.

My apologies then. I dunno that I’d be all that worried about the nuclear/eugenics kooks, but then who though the Bush folks would be quite as crazy as they were?

For what it’s worth some people close to me are doing work and directing the flow of millions of dollars on geothermal energy projects, for which they make a variety of – to me – mind-bogglingly optimistic claims. They have far more book learnin’ than I do in the area so with luck my incredulity is that of a yokel scoffing at the promise of readily available hot water.

91

salient 02.25.09 at 1:23 am

Sure science that can put robots on Mars could mine uranium without poisoning the neighbors, but I see no awareness of that aspect of the problem as anything but more of the same old “got to break eggs to make an omelette”.
Hard to know what exactly is meant by “fatal” in that context.
Fatal to someone, but as long as it’s nobody I know…?

We could wrap up something as toxic and nearly immortally dangerous as spent nuke fuel, could potentially make it safely permanently contained until long past its expiration date, but where is the precedent for that level of responsible behavior?

Well said, well done. Best, most coherent argument against advocating for nuclear power I’ve seen in a long while. And I’ve memorized the question “Where is the precedent for that level of responsible behavior?” for future use: it’s impeccably classic.

92

JoB 02.25.09 at 11:16 am

salient,

Odd kudo to say the least. There has not been a precedent for almost anything and there not being one has not prevented the worst and the best to happen. Your commitment to this as a coherent argument is a commitment for historicism as, I think, well refuted by Popper.

(no, I’m not in favour of a nuclear option; I posted what I’m in favour of higher but it seems a windmill or two gets less excitement from self-proclaimed ‘denialist’ proclaimers than “a good old” nuclear discussion)

(no, don’t try to belittle my point by referring to anything else that Popper said outside of the reference to historicism – what this type of ‘poetic justice’ can do is abundantly clear from this thread)

(yes, I am annoyed – Maurice thinks he has the better of anybody in 75 taking distance from a couple of bozo’s to shtick it to … (yes: to who?) but the crux of the matter is in fact when is the point of irreversibility and what is the extent of the damage? These are very valid points to be raised and they should not be confined to expert opinion – if the consensus is irreversibility will set in, say by 2020, e.g. John’s reaction is absurdly careless because cost is not the factor, only speed is a factor in considering which solution is the best)

But no: let’s keep it to the ‘Oooh, we have to live differently’-hysteria criminalizing everybody that likes to drive a big car in the week-ends (not me by the way, I don’t like to drive, and least of all in big cars – they make me sea-sick). Let’s avoid the specifics alltogether, leave science to scientists and all that kind of stuff.

My favoured wind-mill park will cost 300 MEuro, it’ll take renewable energy to 100% in EU & the real effect will only kick on somewhere after 2020 – is this enough (alongside taking a crisis we have now as a means to reconvert, rather than close, our industrial plants to new products, preferably not the tanks and planes of WWII?

93

Brett Bellmore 02.25.09 at 11:55 am

“Has Brett given up on gathering all world leaders in his living-room to convince them to launch dust into space? If so, why?”

The nice thing about launching dust into space is that you DON’T need all world leaders to agree to it. You just do it. The nasty thing about reducing CO2 output is that if this group of people here cut off their CO2 output entirely, and that group double their’s, the first group have just wasted their time.

In general, it’s a good idea to solve problems in ways that don’t require unanimity. Because that way they actually get solved.

94

JoB 02.25.09 at 12:32 pm

Brett,

Not a bad point you make but there is luckily a lot of people motivated to cut their CO2 and a lot of governments willing to incentivize it. So much the better for you – the less dust you have to launch, the easier it’ll be ;-)

Extracting it afterwards might be a little bit of a problem ;-( That’s the problem with single shot man-made solutions, the lack of knowledge to support taking them tends to reveal problems as soon as it is too late to take back the solution.

95

Yehiel 02.25.09 at 6:08 pm

The claim that computer models are inaccurate has little to do with your position on global warming, anthropogenic or not, and “what is to be done”. Tim Palmer, a leading author of the IPCC report, at a Physics colloquium in UofT:

http://www.physics.utoronto.ca/lecture-and-seminar-series/colloquium/events/physics-colloquium-oct-23-2008

The point was that the Navier-Stokes equations don’t allow you to “cut off” climate modelling on any scale, and that increasing computational power in order to take smaller “basic” climate cells, given today’s approximation methods, will not yield much in terms of accuracy.

The point was NOT that climate change has not occurred, will not continue, or is not anthropogenic. Certainly even the lower bound on the error predicts a significant warming. What he was looking for is a way to better bound the error. Which is what a lot of Physics is about.

All of which is not to say that certain people are not hacks, or hicks, or that “we” are not tired of the same old pseudo-facts raising their little heads.

(Saying that computer models are not accurate as a blanket statement is silly. Of course they aren’t, but you still use them all the time)

96

roy belmont 02.25.09 at 7:48 pm

There has not been a precedent for almost anything
in considering which solution is the best
These are very valid points to be raised
in considering which solution is the best
and they should not be confined to expert opinion
in considering which solution is the best
cost is not the factor, only speed is a factor
in considering which solution is the best
[sarcasm]‘Oooh, we have to live differently’-hysteria
in considering which solution is the best
My favoured wind-mill park
in considering which solution is the best
preferably not the tanks and planes of WWII…
Myopic selfishness got us into this
and now
frantic myopic selfishness will get us out of it.

97

JoB 02.26.09 at 9:56 am

Two can play
that way
I say,
You say: I say,
then some more.

?

Two can play
at that.
A big pat
on one’s own back;
lots of words, no core.

!

Two can play
at poetry:
is ‘myopic’
your bigotry?
poetically judgmental, sour.

;-(

(Encore:
No harm is meant.
I did not intend,
to go and waste
so nice a taste!)

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