In order to be a good investor, you need a firm grasp of reality. Identifying when the crowd deviates from that underlying truth can be a lucrative endeavor; the tricky part is the timing — recognizing the moment when the crowd realizes its wrong and is about to reverse itself.

In markets, there is a severe penalty for being consistently and stubbornly wrong: You lose your capital. If you fail to reverse yourself, you eventually get steamrolled over. In other realms, such as politics and economics, there is no such penalty. Being horrifically, tragically wrong leads to jobs at Think Tanks and book deals and speaking gigs preaching to audiences who are similarly wrong.

Which leads me to a new phrase: Financial Crisis Denialists.

Some people, for horrific reasons of prejudice, deny the holocaust. Other people have been well paid by the Oil industry to deny global warming.

There is yet another group of people who are engaged in a similar deception — they are the Financial Crisis Denialists. Whether it is willful agnotology or their own cognitive dissonance, they continue to ignore facts, are married to disproven theories, and refuse to accept the reality of a complex world.

Yesterday  morning, we posted the Financial Crisis: Final Essay Exam. I have yet to score the various essays and give out final grades for the semester. But I can tell you that people like AEI’s Peter Wallison and Edward Pinto would fail. They are Financial Crisis Denialists and need to be treated as such . . .

Category: Bailouts, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

36 Responses to “Financial Crisis Denialists”

  1. Orange14 says:

    Trouble is that Morgenson’s book (which seems to be advertized in the NY Times everyday) is giving life support to those who want to believe that the GSE’s were the principal factor in the meltdown. Grasping at straws does not good research make.

  2. VennData says:

    Bonuses for Billionaires

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/opinion/21kristof.html

    Here’s an example of a guy who is a denialist. He thinks he’s writing a satire, but it’s actually what is really happening: Social Security over funding is used and has beem used since Reagan raised Social Security taxes and cut taxes on the uber rich to cover the running of government and all those tax loopholes ( loop canyons?) for the rich the GOP is refusing to end.

    This is no joke, this is the way it really is

  3. tebee says:

    ” Being horrifically, tragically wrong leads to jobs at Think Tanks and book deals and speaking gigs preaching to audiences who are similarly wrong.”

    I just love that comment, so sad but true.

    Just one minor point though – at the top of this age there is a heading “Think tank” for the blog posts categorised as such – So does that mean you’re part of a Think Tank Barry?

  4. Jim Greeen says:

    Nice use of AGNOTOLOGY

  5. MinnItMan says:

    Chrsitopher Caldwell’s review of Gretchen Morgenson & Joshua Rosner yesterday was a wonder:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/guilty-men_576902.html

    Caldwell must have this text saved as a Control-V paste. Near as I can tell, it must be a fire-able offense to suggests anything other than the GSEs and CRA being to blame.

    I am meaning to read the book, but like Orange14, reactions to it show it may actually be giving cover to one variety of partisan deniers. Is it even possible to look at anything anymore with the expectation that any analysis is like the results of a Rorschach Test?

    Maybe this is why Wall Street, professional sports and poker get so much attention.

  6. Moss says:

    It all depends on the extent of ones alliances/allegiances.
    If you have none then you can change your mind.

  7. JiminPanama says:

    I used to believe the blather in the media that posits “Americans are pretty smart, they’ll figure this out” , like its just a matter of time before the collective wisdom of the people arrives at the right answer. However, the Internet has provided me the ability to actually listen to the people directly through comment sections on various online news sources and blogs. The American people as a whole are willfully ignorant. And that’s the tuth.

  8. FS says:

    The denialists aren’t the problem, they are few, they are stupid, and no one really pays attention to them anyway
    (see John Bolton; commenting on foreign policy).

    The real problem is the over reaching attempts to compensate for the disaster.

    The Dem/lib/Soc congress destroyed any possibility of real reform by enacting Dodd-Frank, one of the worst bills in our nation’s history. From instituting a czar with no accountability at a new consumer “protection” bureau to ignoring how well Glass-Steagall worked for decades, this bunch of liberal nitwits caused way more problems than what we had, and united people with common sense AGAINST this regulation while the fire continued to burn.

    Denialists are idiots, but are not the issue that needs to be dealt with.

  9. NoKidding says:

    “Other people have been well paid by the Oil industry to deny global warming.”
    Wheres my d#### check!

    On another note, the Yahoo mail account I’ve used since 1996 without any issues (except every six months or so it sneakily tried to get me to install the Yahoo task bar app) has recently become nearly useless with errors that implore me to install IE9. Can’t do that w/o IT approval.

    I accurately forecast that right here when BR published an article about Yahoo/Microsoft joining forces. It seems cynical predictions with negative or untimable outcomes (Greek default, budget cuts that do not kick in until next year’s budget, bailouts for bankers, fools driving around in busses with their face on the side will announce an embarassing run for president soon) are easy but positive, playable predictions (When will Greece default, where will gold be next month) are hard.

  10. farfetched says:

    “Denialists are idiots, but are not the issue that needs to be dealt with.”

    This is like saying you can become clean and sober without admitting you’re an addict.
    The first step to recovery MUST be identifying and admitting there is a problem.

    The CONgress is collectively addicted to Wall Street campaign contributions. The denialists wanted more white lightening and Dodd-Frank is beer. BOTH sides are drinking.

    Without the admission of a huge problem at the start of the Onixon administration and a full public investigation of the biggest banking debacle since the 1930′s, there was never a chance of winning the fight to go back to Glass -Steagall. There was never an investigation leading to admission of the problem leading to rehab.

  11. ashpelham2 says:

    ” Being horrifically, tragically wrong leads to jobs at Think Tanks and book deals and speaking gigs preaching to audiences who are similarly wrong.”

    Wow! That’s Al Gore to a tee!! I think the man actually pioneered think tanks and preaching to audiences!

    I have no other issue with anything else said here other than the global warming debate. We have a lot of evidence that something is going on, but the evidence, ALL OF IT, that it is man causing it directly, is still not convincing. Does that mean I don’t advocate man changing his wasteful ways? No. Does that mean I think the use of carbon-based energy is dated and in need of replacement? Absolutely not. It just means that the evidence that man is causing the changes in the climate is offset by past similar climate changes we’ve seen over history, where man was not industrialized, or even in existence.

    Something’s up though, and we need to continue to innovate because the monkeys can’t do it alone.

  12. formerlawyer says:

    @ashpelham2 Says:

    Go read:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/

  13. murrayv says:

    Hi Barry, on investment and economics you are far far more expert than I will ever be, which is a big part of the reason I follow your blog. When it comes to global warming, I suspect that I am streaks ahead of you. I communicate with hundreds of people, via blogs, that are skeptical of anthropogenic global warming for very valid reasons, both scientific and . None of them are paid by big-oil, and it is probably safe to say that all of them believe that the globe has been warming since the bottom of the Little Ice Age ca 340 years ago, and also believ that it warmed from about 1976 to 2006.
    The people pushing Anthropogenic global warming mostly have their careers at stake and have their research funded by the IPCC. Your allegation is quite simply dead wrong. Murray

  14. murrayv says:

    “both scientific and based on extensive actual data”

  15. Doubtful says:

    Listen/read this:
    The Folly of Prediction
    http://freakonomicsradio.com/hour-long-special-the-folly-of-prediction.html

    DUBNER: So, if you were to gain control of let’s say a really big
    media outlet, New York Times, or NBC TV, and you said, you know, I
    want to dispense a different kind of news and analysis to the public,
    what would you do? How would you suggest building a mechanism to do
    a better job of keeping all this kind of poor expert prediction out
    of the, off the airwaves.

    TETLOCK: I’m so glad you asked that question. I have some specific
    ideas about that. And I don’t think they would be all that difficult
    to implement. I think they should try to keep score more. I think
    there’s remarkably little effort in tracking accuracy. If you happen
    to be someone like Tom Friedman or Paul Krugman, or someone who’s at
    the top of the pundit pecking order, there’s very little incentive
    for you to want to have your accuracy tested because your followers
    are quite convinced that you’re extremely accurate, and it’s
    pretty much a game you can only lose.

    DUBNER: Can you imagine? Every time a pundit appeared on TV, the
    network would list his batting average, right after his name and
    affiliation. You think that might cut down on blowhard predictions
    just a little bit? Looking back at what we’ve learned so far, it
    makes me wonder: maybe the first step toward predicting the future
    should be to acknowledge our limitations. Or–at the very least–let’s
    start small. . . .

  16. Bruman says:

    I blame the other guys because I’m too embarrassed to blame myself.

    (I normally try to say something more thoughtful, but I’m just too depressed watching this country tear itself apart. I feel like I’m on the Titanic, and there’s almost certainly no lifeboat for me).

  17. Bruman says:

    Oh, and thanks for the education on “Agnotology,” does that lead us from “Democracy” to “Dumbocracy?”

  18. scapescu says:

    It seems that Barry has strong, undeniable convictions: ”well paid by the Oil industry to deny global warming”.

    ~~~

    BR: You seem to confuse opinion with facts. Here are the facts:

    Climate sceptic Willie Soon received $1m from oil companies, papers show

    One of the world’s most prominent scientific figures to be sceptical about climate change has admitted to being paid more than $1m in the past decade by major US oil and coal companies.

    Dr Willie Soon, an astrophysicist at the Solar, Stellar and Planetary Sciences Division of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, is known for his view that global warming and the melting of the arctic sea ice is caused by solar variation rather than human-caused CO2 emissions, and that polar bears are not primarily threatened by climate change.

    But according to a Greenpeace US investigation, he has been heavily funded by coal and oil industry interests since 2001, receiving money from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Insitute and Koch Industries along with Southern, one of the world’s largest coal-burning utility companies. Since 2002, it is alleged, every new grant he has received has been from either oil or coal interests.

    ~~~

    Scientists’ Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science

    ExxonMobil Corp. gave $26 million to 43 ideological groups between 1998 and 2005 in a coordinated effort to mislead the public by discrediting the science behind global warming,” says the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), according to an Associated Press

    ~~~

    Oil Company Spent Nearly $16 Million to Fund Skeptic Groups, Create Confusion

    WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 3–A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists offers the most comprehensive documentation to date of how ExxonMobil has adopted the tobacco industry’s disinformation tactics, as well as some of the same organizations and personnel, to cloud the scientific understanding of climate change and delay action on the issue. According to the report, ExxonMobil has funneled nearly $16 million between 1998 and 2005 to a network of 43 advocacy organizations that seek to confuse the public on global warming science.

    “ExxonMobil has manufactured uncertainty about the human causes of global warming just as tobacco companies denied their product caused lung cancer,” said Alden Meyer, the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Director of Strategy & Policy. “A modest but effective investment has allowed the oil giant to fuel doubt about global warming to delay government action just as Big Tobacco did for over 40 years.”

  19. DC says:

    @ashpelham2 –

    That’s some dynamite logic. First, Gore is an exponent of a position based on scientific study. He didn’t “create” the notion of human-influenced climate change. Surely you’re aware that scientists around the globe, from the US to Europe to China, have reached similar conclusions. In the industrial age we’ve burned several million years of stored carbon in the blink of an eye, yet we are to believe that this cannot have any noticeable impact on our closed-system planet.

    Second, let’s substitute “climate change” with “forest fires”. Forest fires have occurred since the earth had forests. This is accepted fact (at least by most…maybe not Joe Kernen) based on scientific data.

    By your logic, we must assume that human beings have had no role in forest fires in the modern era. A carelessly tossed cig, a smoldering campfire, or any similar event involving man simply cannot be the cause of a forest fire because we have data that indicates such catastrophic events occurred before the first lungfish clambered onto the beach. You may also wish to argue that a bursting dam cannot have caused a flood, because flooding also occurred in the era of the sabre-toothed cat.

  20. GrafSchweik says:

    @ashpelham2 says

    “Wow! That’s Al Gore to a tee!! I think the man actually pioneered think tanks and preaching to audiences!”

    Laddie/Lassie you are sadly deficient in your knowledge of post WWII American history. Go here to improve your knowledge so that you’ll no longer betray your ignorance in the first sentence of your posts.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinktanks

    Part 3 of improving your education [Former Lawyer has already dealt with Part 1] is to go to a decent library, haul out all the National Reviews between June 1967 and January 1975.

    You will read, as I did during those years, regular pleas from Bill Buckley for friendly neighborhood plutocrats to step forward and found [double]think tanks because that Big, BAD Brookings Institution controlled the gummint. [For all his cultural sophistication, Bill loved slumming with the moneyed Ignoranti.] Bill is the Godfather of just about every Wing Nut organization in DC today.

    If you bring a scintilla of intellectual honesty to your incarnational table, you might notice that the vast majority of Bill B’s & friends’ predictions from those days have not occurred or if they have—as in the passage of wonderful Right Wing Answers to Everything—the results more often than not have not been what they predicted.

    You might also notice that they actually had in those days a respect for science. But then the examples of Stalin’s Soviet genetics and Hitler’s Aryan physics [Einstein, nein!]were still fresh in their eyes. Wing Nut Climatology, Christian No-Evolution-Biology and Psychology are no different.

    For extra credit and for your everlasting intellectual improvement, study German to fluency, read their history, national press and visit regularly. You will discover a country doing much better for more of its citizens than ours is; with its well-to-do classes doing very nicely, thank you, and all with a Conservative political establishment well to the left of the Obama administration.

    Or, if you wish, study the Scandinavians instead. In either case in central and northern Europe exist examples of successful modern states who do everything the Permanent Wing Nut Government in Waiting says cannot work.

    But then post-WWII Europe learned a big lesson about the dangers of ideological movements that possibly you and certainly too many of our fellow citizens have not yet learned. Will we recover from our collective madness as quickly as the Germans did? I wonder…

  21. scapescu says:

    Financial Times

    Big business urges G8 global warming action

    By Fiona Harvey in London

    Published: June 9 2005 20:35 | Last updated: June 9 2005 20:35

    Leaders of some of the world’s biggest businesses on Thursday increased the pressure on the Group of Eight industrialised nations ahead of a summit on global warming, urging them to set up a system of emissions trading for greenhouse gases that would extend to 2030 and beyond.

    The business leaders called for a “cap-and-trade” system or similar market-based mechanism that would set limits on how much greenhouse gas countries and companies could emit and also “define greenhouse gas emissions rights”. Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat on earth and cause climate change.

    The statement was signed by ABB, Alcan, BP, British Airways, BT, Cinergy, Cisco, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, E.ON, EADS, EDF, Eskom, Ford, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, Petrobras, UES, Rio Tinto, Siemens, Swiss Re, Toyota, Vattenfall and Volkswagen.

    There is money to be made from global warming.

    As concerning the facts, I could bring here much more examples to prove that both sides of the controversy received a lot of money which were probably very important in the willingness of credentialed experts to be pro or anti global warming.
    Picking up only some facts doesn’t prove the truth of an opinion

  22. DeDude says:

    murrayv;

    We have undeniable increases in gases that have undeniable green house effects. The only valid debate is how much of the observed increases in temperature is anthropogenic. Interestingly enough that debate doesn’t really matter because anything we can do to counter temperature increases is important (even if we are just attacking the X% of the problem that can be attacked). Furthermore, almost anything we can do have huge “collateral” benefits making the question of whether they also benefit the climate a silly little sideshow.

  23. rootless says:

    @scapescu:

    It’s kind of trivial that at some point, when reality can’t be further denied, corporations will embrace changes toward measures of prevention or at least mitigation of global warming. And they will try to make money under the changed conditions. We live in capitalism. The first purpose of any commercial economic enterprise in capitalism is to make money. Adjust or perish.

    As concerning the facts, I could bring here much more examples to prove that both sides of the controversy received a lot of money which were probably very important in the willingness of credentialed experts to be pro or anti global warming.

    Please could you bring examples where scientists who have done research on global warming, published their scientific findings, who represent the consensus view, and are considered experts on the topic have done so supported from obscure particular interests of lobby groups or corporations who wanted to make money with this?

  24. rootless says:

    @ashpelham2:

    I have no other issue with anything else said here other than the global warming debate. We have a lot of evidence that something is going on, but the evidence, ALL OF IT, that it is man causing it directly, is still not convincing.

    How did you get to this conclusion? Based on what sources of information and based on what criteria have you decided the evidence is still not convincing? What evidence is missing? Please be specific.

    You say there have been similar changes in climate before industrialization and even before the existence of humans, please could you point out what changes in the past contradict what climate scientist present today as evidence that most of global warming since pre-industrial times, and especially for the last decades, has been caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases?

  25. rootless says:

    @murrayv:

    When it comes to global warming, I suspect that I am streaks ahead of you.

    Are you? So you are an expert, I guess.

    I communicate with hundreds of people, via blogs, that are skeptical of anthropogenic global warming for very valid reasons, both scientific and

    Which you apparently believe to have become by reading blogs by climate science contrarians and talking with other contrarians. Or what is the audience supposed to take from this statement that you have communicated in blogs with hundreds of people who think similar to you?

    The climate science contrarians have their blogs as source for their obscure arguments and where they assure each other how right they are. These are their niches where they make each other feel well, whereas the ones who acknowledge the reality of man-made global warming have the science on their side.

    The people pushing Anthropogenic global warming mostly have their careers at stake

    And because their careers were at stake many thousands of climate scientists all over the world have for 30 years systematically forged scientific data and manipulated the evidence, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, that supports findings according to which there was man-made global warming due to increasing greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere? And how do you explain that basically all relevant national and international scientific societies have declared that man-made global warming is real and these findings are supported by overwhelming evidence? Because all the evil climate scientists have usurped or bribed all these scientific organizations?

    The thing is climate science contrarians don’t have much more to offer than conspiracy theory to explain it all away.

    and have their research funded by the IPCC. Your allegation is quite simply dead wrong.

    What are you talking about? Please could you name whose scientific research has been funded by the IPCC? The IPCC doesn’t fund the scientific research on global warming. This isn’t the function of the IPCC. The research is mostly funded from government resources. In US it’s e.g. the NSF, NASA, NOAA, DoE, or EPA.

    My prediction is that in the coming years climate science contrarians will become more and more a group of hardcore conspiracy theorists who are totally immune against any scientific argument and evidence, and whose arguments will become even more obscure and absurd than they are today already, like a quasi-religious cult. Although it could be a large cult, considering how many creationists are out there. The relationship of the climate science contrarians to the findings of climate science shows already today many similarities to the relationship that creationist have toward the biological sciences.

  26. scapescu says:

    @rootless
    One example:

    The Alliance for Climate Education, Inc (the national leader in high school climate science education)
    ACE CEO is Michael A. Haas which is also the Founder and CEO of Orion Energy, LLC (developer of large-scale wind energy ); this company was acquired by BP Alternative Energy (http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=9024973&contentId=7046905)

    I am not a specialist so I am unable to decide rationally who is right in this debate. I only want to say that the funding by interested corporations doesn’t imply that a theory is false ( as Barry suggested); this apply for both theories . Moreover the fact that some scientific research is funded by government doesn’t mean this theory is true (or false). What i am debating here is not a scientific issue ( I am totally incompetent in this field) but a epistemological one.

    ~~~

    BR: Non disclosed funding by interested corporations i pushing a narrative unsupported by facts — the funding which was purposefully hidden from view — that suggests quite a bit, n’est-ce pas?

  27. DeDude says:

    The suggestion that climate scientists in federal research organizations changed or solidified their opinions in favor of anthropogenic causes of global warming because that would be good for their funding and career is not just fact-denial, but moronic. During Bush II there was an unprecedented amount of attempted coercion on experts from the administration to the point where the White House send their little “truthiness patrols” out to try and edit the scientists reports in several federal agencies. Bush II did not invent political interference with science but they made it into an art and practiced it in unpresedented amounts – and believe me Cheney did NOT want them to conclude in favor of anthropogenic global warming.

  28. IanR says:

    First, I do not like leaving posts on boards such as this (personal inadequacy one might say)
    Second, this will probably be the only one.
    Third, I am not a climate change skeptic, I am, however unconvinced about the so-called ‘science’ surrounding the subject, especially when so-called ‘scientists’ claim the subject is proven and argument is closed.

    * SNIP *

    ~~~

    BR: And with the phrase “so-called ‘science’ ” we say “Buh bye”

  29. GuinnessFan says:

    Just a couple of comments to end the night.

    I’ve given up on arguing the GSE vs. Wall Street culpabilabilty issue (CRA is another matter). Since the GSEs are considered to be intertwined with Congress and since Congress is conjoined with Wall Street, is there really any differentiation of where a major component of the problem lies. Wall Street is able to get whatever policy it requires to facilitate its latest scam, which for the 2000′s was the housing industry. Also I’m sure that any attempt to rein in Fannie and Freddie would have been welcomed (NOT!) by the NAHB and NAR. Yeah, those lobbyists are always on the lookout for the best interests of the American public.

    As far as the climate change debate goes I’ll admit I’m not totally convinced although I can’t say that my opinion is an informed one. I haven’t read the science so I can’t provide a useful critique to the debate. I go back to the quote by the statistician George Box that ” All models are wrong, but some are useful.”. So I can’t critique whether climate change models fit into the “wrong” or “useful” category. However, given the debate on the debt ceiling / deficit where it’s argued that we need to resolve this for “the sake our children and grandchildren” wouldn’t you think that you’d like to study this more closely and resolve whether the odds favor one proposition or the other. If climate change is real then the deficit debate may be irrelevant. You would think you’d like some prudent risk management.

    Also, given today’s QOTD, let’s not forget Dick Cheney’s ” Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter”.

    Finally, @JiminPanama Says:
    “I used to believe the blather in the media that posits “Americans are pretty smart, they’ll figure this out” , like its just a matter of time before the collective wisdom of the people arrives at the right answer.”

    The operative thinking always has to be H. L. Mencken”s quote ” Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”. Politicians and Wall Street have used that as a business model for years.

  30. chris says:

    Barry , I have been reading your blog for years and have learned from it. I feel at times you are drifting from the wall st/economic/finance info and get too personal.

  31. Chad says:

    In the end, it doesn’t matter if you can’t understand the science and don’t “believe” in climate change. The only thing that matters is that there are multiple country sized arguments that fall on the left and the right side of the spectrum. Not only do these arguments fall on both sides, but they also fall within the moderate and extreme camps on both sides. Thus, we need an alternative energy solution/increased efficiency…NO MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE (I despise that word)!

    I won’t even outline the country sized arguments, as if you aren’t smart enough to deduce them yourselves, you are not smart enough to be posting on here.

  32. The Pale Scot says:

    @ the climate sceptics,

    I can’t be bothered anymore with those who are basically insisting that man’s activities are too insignificant to affect the atmosphere and climate.

    The rough numbers are these, OTTOMH man’s activities produces 30 gigatons of CO2 a year on top the 320 Gt produced naturally (which the biosphere will eventually reclaim). If the CO2 were instead oil dumped into the ocean, that would be (1 barrel=288 lbs= 7 barrel per ton = 210 gigabarrels or 210 billion barrels of oil every year. What would be the effects of 210,000,000,000 bbl’s poured into the ocean every year?

    It has taken the planet 4.6 billion yrs to arrive at a climate that allowed man to reach a population of close to 7 billion, part of that was removing C by sequestering it into oil and coal deposits, and now we’re diligently putting it all back. The so far slight warming of the polar regions is warming the permafrost which is a peaty mixture of soil and decayed vegetation that holds large amounts of CO2 and methane which is a 10x more effective greenhouse gas than CO2. This will be a positive feedback cycle that will be impossible to stop.

    I don’t have kids so I don’t have any skin in this game, it’s not like all life on earth is threatened, just our civilization. But if you have young people you care about and insist on denying this, YOU ARE NUTS.

    As Mencken said, “democracy is the theory that the people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard”

  33. The Pale Scot says:

    In retrospect oil isn’t the best substance I could have used for that comment, But since CO2 acidification of the oceans is already a fact, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification#Possible_impacts

    what the heck.

  34. murrayv says:

    BR – I guess one person equals people. And then there is the issue of cause and effect. Does Willie Soon believe, for good scienrific reasons that solar activity is the chief driver of global warming, and therefore Exxon provides some of his funding, or does he push an Exxon agenda? You have chosen to believe the latter. I believe he has the science largely right.
    For a couple of other true believers, there may be thousands of scientists that have accepted the idea of anthropogenic global warming because it is a theory put out by other scientists, they assume that scientists really do good science, and they don’t have time to dig into the issue themselves. There are not thousands of well qualified climatologists that support the idea, maybe a few hundred, and many of them have been defecting in recent years.
    I wasn’t arguing the anthropogenic global warming issue one way or the other, although I am a doubter. I just reject the broad implication that people are skeptics because of funding from Exxon. There are numerous very well qualified skeptics who have no such or similar funding.
    Perhaps I was imprecise in saying the AGW scientists were funded by the IPCC. I stand corrected. They are funded by the government agencies that also fund the IPCC. The core IPCC authors are quite few in number, and much of their science has been called into question, especially the hockey team.
    In fact, although I have read over 400 peer reviewed papers during the last 13 years, I have never seen any scientific evidence to support the actual occurence of AGW in the earth’s atmosphere, and all of the dire predictions come from models that have numerous well documented shortcomings. Clearly this is not the place for this discussion, so my apologies for the OT response.

  35. DeDude says:

    “I have read over 400 peer reviewed papers during the last 13 years, I have never seen any scientific evidence to support the actual occurence of AGW”

    So you as a not-qualified non-climatologist can read the climatological scientific literature and reject the conclusion reached by qualified climatologists? I think you have reached your skeptic conclusions based on ideology not science. Sad thing is you don’t even have to understand the science to understand that we have AGW. The 10% additional CO2 released into the air by our burning of coal and oil has undeniably increased measurable levels of CO2, and simple laboratory experiments have undeniably documented the green house effects of CO2 -end of story. Only debate is “how much of the observed warming is AGW, and how much is natural”.

  36. murrayv says:

    Dedude,Inote that you conveniently left offmy words”in theearthsatmosphere”.If you think a laboratory experiment reproduces in any way what actually happens in the atmosphere, well there is nothing more tosay.