How big of a threat is global warming? A conversation on another skeptic site, with a previous visitor here, had me thinking about it:

Hello, Mogur. Long time no see. You wrote:

You dare to claim that since Richard Feyman condemned NASA for underestimating the danger for Shuttle launches, that they are now lying about climate change? You, sir, are a charlatan, have you no shame?

That’s not the logic. Our host has abundantly demonstrated that NASA’s data and presentation of it has been wrong. Among other things, NASA asserts that NASA was wrong as they constantly change the data. Of multiple versions of data measuring the same thing ostensibly the same way, at least all but one of them is incorrect. And it’s been shown over and over that the changes are inevitably in the direction that shows more impending catastrophe.

Richard Feynman’s famous NASA involvement demonstrated that their problematic culture extended to far more than Morton-Thiokol’s o-rings. Much of Feynman’s report focused on the fuel pump turbines of the Orbiter’s main engines, and compellingly demonstrated that NASA constantly mis-estimated the likely rates of failure. A mission abort in flight triggered by an engine failure, happily not fatal that time, was just one more indicator of the value of his analysis.

But all of this is simply history … and in the case of data, the editing of history by NASA as needed for their purposes.

I am amused that you paraphrased the famous quote used on Senator McCarthy, as you try to use McCarthy’s worst tactics here. Welsh, the speaker, was actually defending someone (on his team) who WAS part of the Communist-connected organization that McCarthy accused him of. That the counter-attack worked in the press was merely a PR success; McCarthy was correct despite his tendency toward bombast and hyperbole.

Global warming has killed no one, and has arguably saved tens or hundreds of thousands of lives (as more people die from by cold than from heat). On the other hand, the communism that McCarthy so vehemently opposed wound up the 20th century by killing far more than 100,000,000 people, non-combatants in peacetime, usually citizens of the communists’ own countries.

You wrote:

NOAA and NASA scientists all agree that climate change is happening.

Not all of them, of course, but those that don’t agree keep silent or are booted out. NASA knows who they must serve, and what their people must say in that service. Of COURSE they’re “a government tool.” And the money is the carrot, with career threats an effective stick.

You wrote:

But this is not about material science. This is about your daughter’s future. Are we going to handicap that future with careless regard, or are we going to look as hard as we can? Science does not judge. You do.

There is no evidence supported by good science that the decreasing number of hurricanes, reduced tornadoes and tornado deaths, greater crop yields, and other benefits of modestly increasing CO2 pose any threat at all. Temperatures are amazingly stable; people are hyperventilating about fractions of a degree, and those have been subjected to … fudging. We’ve had an order of magnitude more CO2 previously, in optimum times for Earth life.

The sea level rise has been surprisingly steady over the past century-plus, as measured by tide gauges (the only place sea level counts is on the shore). And ice levels are proving more resilient, especially in Antarctica and Greenland, than catastrophists have asserted. How much economic harm should be inflicted upon our host’s child, or my grandchildren, to support your Quixotic vision? The windmills are still defeating you.

It seems clear to me that had we had accurate (or any) satellite measures in the 1930s, there would be no “global warming” scare. But by picking the temperature cycle up in a low point, catastrophists can make a useful-seeming graph for their purposes.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle