Global Warming is Not a Crisis

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global warming is not a crisis

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

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  • Michael Crichton

    For

    Michael Crichton

    Writer and Filmmaker

  • Richard S. Lindzen

    For

    Richard S. Lindzen

    Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT

  • Philip Stott

    For

    Philip Stott

    Emeritus Professor and Biogeographer from the University of London, UK

  • Brenda Ekwurzel

    Against

    Brenda Ekwurzel

    Member of the Union of Concerned Scientists

  • Gavin Schmidt

    Against

    Gavin Schmidt

    Climate Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York

  • Richard C.J. Somerville

    Against

    Richard C.J. Somerville

    Distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

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Michael Crichton

For The Motion

Michael Crichton

Writer and Filmmaker

Michael is best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER. Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He has been a visiting instructor at Cambridge University and MIT. Crichton's 2004 bestseller, State of Fear, challenged extreme anthropogenic warming scenarios.

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Richard S. Lindzen

For The Motion

Richard S. Lindzen

Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at MIT

Richard previously held professorships at Harvard, where he received his A.B., S.M. and Ph.D., and the University of Chicago. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the recipient of various awards. He is the author or co-author of three books and over 200 papers. His current research is on climate sensitivity, atmospheric convection and the general circulation of the atmosphere.

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Philip Stott

For The Motion

Philip Stott

Emeritus Professor and Biogeographer from the University of London, UK

Although a scientist, for the past ten years Stott has also employed modern techniques of deconstruction to grand environmental narratives, like “global warming.” Stott was editor of the internationally-important Journal of Biogeography for 18 years. He broadcasts widely on TV and radio, and writes regularly on environmental issues for The Times of London, among other publications.

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Brenda Ekwurzel

Against The Motion

Brenda Ekwurzel

Member of the Union of Concerned Scientists

Brenda works on the national climate program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Prior to joining UCS, she was on the faculty of the University of Arizona. Doctorate research was at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and post-doctoral research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

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Gavin Schmidt

Against The Motion

Gavin Schmidt

Climate Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York

Gavin's publications include studies of past, present and potential future climates. Scientific American cited him as a top 50 Research Leader in 2004, and he has worked on education and outreach with the American Museum of Natural History, the College de France and the New York Academy of Sciences, among others. He is a contributing editor at RealClimate.org.

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Richard C.J. Somerville

Against The Motion

Richard C.J. Somerville

Distinguished Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Richard is a theoretical meteorologist and an expert on computer simulations of the atmosphere. Among many honors, Somerville is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society. He has received awards for both his research and his popular book, The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change.

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Declared Winner: For The Motion

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About This Event

19 comments

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  • Comment Link david Thursday, 09 July 2015 11:51 posted by david

    The correct side, the one with science, integrity and truth on their side, the skeptics, could have presented a better case.
    Lindzen should have talked about the lack of mid tropospheric hotspot which basically outright disproves their positive runaway feedback CO2/H2O hypothesis. The GCMs all predict the hotspot as a key part of their theory.
    He also should have gone into the Mediaeval, Roman and Minoan warm periods more. They were warmer than today with much less CO2. He also should have mentioned the Ordovician which was in an ice age with 11 times the CO2 of today.
    He should have pointed out that the GCMs predict approx 3 times the warming that's observed which prove their climate sensitivity is way too high. I believe Crichton touched on this regarding revised warming predictions trending downwards but Lindzen should've elaborated as this is central to the debate premise.

    They also should have taken the alarmists to task for their lies, namely claiming that they've isolated the human signal and that it is the main contributor, a complete and utter lie. If they were asked for proof they would go back to their consensus fraud mixed with ad verecundium because there is no proof.

    The Alarmists got off easy, if Jo Nova, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts or Monckton were on the panel, they would've been annihilated.

  • Comment Link Aaron Wednesday, 08 July 2015 21:34 posted by Aaron

    Although the correct side won the debate, they still didn't go into the facts that pretty much annihilate the alarmists. Also they didn't destroy all the false claims by the alarmists.
    Firstly the warmer with much less CO2 Mediaeval, Roman and Minoan Warm Periods. The Ordovician period with 11 times the CO2 in an ice age, and despite the smarmy bearded gentleman on the far right trying to pre-empt it with a snide dismissal, the Vostok ice cores actually do show CO2 lags 800 years behind Temperature rise showing CO2 is not a primary driver.
    Then there's the big one, the lack of a mid tropospheric hotspot basically disproves their high sensitivity positive feedback CO2/water vapour hypothesis. Why did Richard Lindzen at least not point this out?
    Then there's the fact that the models consistently predict 3 times the amount of warming on average that's observed! Why not jump on this as a central pillar of why it's not a crisis!!!
    The lack of warming has continued since them and 10 years is perhaps too short at 2007 but they should have attempted to push the issue.

    Either way I expected more from Lindzen at least. I remember Ian Plimer being atrocious in a debate with Monbiot a while ago. With the wealth of evidence against the CAGW farce they sure do hold a lot back.

  • Comment Link Lou Renfeld Tuesday, 19 May 2015 23:21 posted by Lou Renfeld

    Shocking that the Against side mentioned straw man arguments presented by the For, yet missed the opportunity to address one of the biggest straw men - Global Cooling never had scientific consensus. The media sure picked it up - sensationalism sells, true - but less than 10% of climate studies from the 70's mention global cooling, or straight-up disagree that global cooling is real, or predict an increase in temperatures, not a decrees.

    In essence, bringing up the 70's Global Cooling attention is arguing FOR the validity of Global Warming because it is yet another example of the few being wrong in the face of the consensus. It also highlights how media-supplied disinformation clouds a topic.

  • Comment Link RWT Monday, 06 April 2015 15:37 posted by RWT

    Sure, let's have this debate again so that the skeptics can crush the alarmists even more so than the first time.

  • Comment Link Bob James Monday, 30 March 2015 09:46 posted by Bob James

    I agree that a debated on the climate change issue is again relevant particularly as legislation to reduce CO2 emissions is considered. Perhaps a topic to be debated is "Assessing a tax or fee on fossil fuels at the source is the only way to factor long-term cost of CO2 pollution into our markets." For more information about the idea see this website CitizensClimateLobby.org

  • Comment Link BooBee Monday, 16 February 2015 10:53 posted by BooBee

    Climate change is upon us. And we have to act smart. We have to start with something simple, like measure our own local weather - a personal weather device is a good start (see: http://www.nwclimate.org/reviews/quality-weather-stations/), than collect data and share. So we can have more accurate picture on what's changing.

  • Comment Link Jon R Salmi Tuesday, 03 February 2015 16:05 posted by Jon R Salmi

    Perhaps another debate is due. "Is consensus a meaningful concept given that the scientific method works by disproof not proof?"

  • Comment Link Jeff Wednesday, 14 January 2015 12:27 posted by Jeff

    Please do this debate again. This was my least favorite debate I've seen from IQ2.
    It's a great topic, but I just could not make it through. I think this was fixed in later debates as the 8 min limit was way to brief.
    BTW, I love IQ2 debates, so thank you for all of them.

  • Comment Link James White Sunday, 28 September 2014 09:36 posted by James White

    Very interesting, we need MUCH more debate on this topic - from a wider variety of personalities so that accusations of "this was won by a more charismatic team" can be calmed.

    The issue of global warming is not yet a crisis - but it may become one. I want to know more before committing trillions(?) to questionable things like carbon taxation.

    I want to know MUCH more.

  • Comment Link Bob James Friday, 01 August 2014 12:17 posted by Bob James

    I suggest another debate concerning global warming is needed. The suggested topic: "The consensus of climatologists should be trusted for reporting risk factors."

    The following reasons for the new debate are listed below:

    The 2007 debate could have been better:
    1) "Liberal" concern wins debate over "liberal" issue. I found it intriguing that what I think was the most convincing argument of the pro side (global warming is not a crisis) was an argument against taking action to reduce the global warming trend takes money and public awareness away from helping the poor and destitute in the world.
    2) The pro team had 2 artful and accomplished communicators, a writer and spokesman from Glasgow. The con (those against the issue) had accomplished scientists but with less adept speaking or persuasive skills.
    3) The poll for the debate was taken after the question period not after the closing arguments.
    4) The poll was taken using ballot boxes. The camera showed many people not putting anything into the boxes. I am guessing only half of the people present voted.

    Since 2007 more climate issues have arisen:
    1) There has been 6 more years of data and weather events that have occurred, more melting of ice poles, etc.
    2) Government expenditures and regulations are increasing in response to global warming concerns.
    3) Certain scientists, skeptics and otherwise, lack confidence in the models used to predict future climate.
    4) In March of 2014 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued an alarming report.
    5) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change) outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveys_of_scientists%27_views_on_climate_change)

  • Comment Link Thomas E. Pilcher Saturday, 24 May 2014 13:16 posted by Thomas E. Pilcher

    When Mr. Crichton mentioned Jessie Ausubel, I thought for a second he slipped as Ausubel is certainly a proponent for taking climate change seriously and acting now. But then Crichton danced around the concept of decarbonization as though that could support his stance. What he neglected to mention is that we homo sapiens have been multiplying a bit since 1800 CE and our per capita energy consumption has increased world-wide exponentially. All this means is my view of Mr. Crichton as having had integrity took a serious hit, but seeing as his 'science' in Jurassic Park was not exactly anything but problematic, I ought to have known better.

    When Mr. Crichton then proceeded to essentially blame all the worlds current ills on the climatologists opposing his view while essentially saying "I'll give up my airplane when you do", I concluded 1. Inflated over-stroked ego 2. Most scientists of all kinds don't own aircraft of any kind, and 3. apparently everyone should have been focusing on what Mr. Crichton thought was important at any given moment (while doing nothing about it himself) and forget what their specialties and capacities are, their SCIENTIFIC backgrounds. I make no claim to being a leader, but it just doesn't seem right when someone presumes to lead while having no clue what 'lead by example' means. Ironic when one considers Mr. Crichton's closing statement.

    There are serious global social issues that must have attention, but would it not also be wise to make sure there is a livable planet for future generations too? Sadly, Mr. Crichton and his companions had no issue with leaving the bill from his generation's wanton destruction of Earth's ecosystems to their and your grandchildren. While wages are likely to rise over the coming century, so to will the cost of living, and if world inflation continues at pace, 80K will be worth LESS in real wages than 7.5K, and yet these three gentlemen could care less, saying essentially that future generations can afford paying for their grand parents negligence.

    Fred, who posted a comment attacking Brenda Ekwurzel. She made a very simple (and accurate) statement about the geography of Bangladesh and THAT IS ALL. Bangladesh IS largely floodplain nestled into the base of the Himalaya. What fantasy you concocted out of that statement of fact is beyond anyone who is capable of listening. And you don't need to go there to know comfortably that her geographical assessment is spot on. Your ire is misplaced, unfounded and ill thought. Take a deep breath and pay attention, you might learn something.

    I believe, based on the preponderence of evidence provided by largely honest and accurate science, that climate change is going to make life interesting (probably not in a good way) for homo sapiens. Happily (?) for me and most of the panelists, we'll likely all be dead of old age and infirmity before that. I believe governments and industries (the folks within them) can take ameliorative actions to make climate change less interesting. I believe that the longer we collectively sit on our hands, the higher the price that will be extracted from those who live in the future.

    As far as the debate went, the 'not critical' side posted a resounding victory as indicated by the voting. Far too much time was spent (wasted) by the 'critical' side in trying to convince folks that climate change is real, which every panelist already acknowledged. The issue was whether it is critical or not, and the losing side failed to convince me and a substantial portion of the audience.

  • Comment Link Kenneth Lee Foon Friday, 23 May 2014 14:49 posted by Kenneth Lee Foon

    Paul, the debate was not whether climate change is happening or not, it's about whether it is a crisis and our completely overblown reaction to it.

  • Comment Link Paul Newcomb Tuesday, 13 May 2014 14:02 posted by Paul Newcomb

    This debate was based more upon presentation and charisma, rather than the actual data. The vast majority of scientific data is at odds with the 'For' side, and this is especially true in the past few years since this debate took place. Propaganda can alter people's opinions, but it can't alter the facts.

  • Comment Link Daniel Hofford Tuesday, 04 March 2014 11:44 posted by Daniel Hofford

    The people with the better argument, the better data, sanity, reason and science won the debate. The politically correct, oligarchic, misanthropes lost. Thank goodness.
    The most embarrassing panelist? Brenda Ekwurzel. Her whole argument was infantile.

  • Comment Link James Smith Wednesday, 08 January 2014 11:38 posted by James Smith

    Around 350 BC, Aristotle debated Democritus over the latter's idea of the Atom. Aristotle was able to win that debate resulting in society believing, for about 3000 years, that all matter was made up of four elements: Air, Earth, Fire and Water. If those in favour of Global Warming have correct data, and the others do not, then the ones with the correct data win. That is how it should be.

  • Comment Link adam Monday, 16 December 2013 23:13 posted by adam

    *Spoiler alert, This issue breaks my heart, though the team in favor won the debate (as they should have unfortunately due to a better argument) it doesn't change that the other side had better data. their presentation was not as charismatic as their opposition, and their argument was weak.

    I simply wish they had mentioned how climate change could negatively effect the human race. like displacement of 634 million people due to rising sea levels.

    The list is endless and I am truly disappointed we waste our time debating about this instead of trying to improve our planet.

    If you disagree, by all means you are entitled to that, but pollution is pollution and all the other debates are a waste of time. I want to leave this world better than I found it for the next generation.

  • Comment Link Brian Chambers Sunday, 07 April 2013 21:50 posted by Brian Chambers

    Well, should we go back to horses and buggies and stop progressing as a people?

  • Comment Link John Samuel Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:24 posted by John Samuel

    The physics decided it needed some time after the debate. Droughts in the US, Sandy devastating NY and NJ, the Phillipines with the worst storm on record. And climate physics has a golden vote, despite any debate.

  • Comment Link Fred Saturday, 21 July 2012 15:28 posted by Fred

    At Princeton in the 70s, we were definitely exposed to the exact same crisis hypotheticals as today except the claim was 'global cooling.' This assertion, that this was the scientific equivalent of an urban myth, convinced me that some of these panelists were leaning heavily on leg-lifting.

    They continually counter the arguments of scientists...by speaking vaguely for the claims of scientists outside of the room with leg-lifting.


    The woman who asked about nuclear power plants; if we were to dedicate 100% of mankinds use of all energy of all kinds and forms to heating the oceans, it would take 10000 years to raise the oceans by 1 deg c. This is simple physics. The question is, can we impact the atmosphere enough to drastically influence heating related to solar loading as a source, period.

    This woman has never been to Bangladesh. I have. Her example was terrible. The people of Bangladesh are not loving the 'hood as it is and has been, they were forcefully migrated to where they live -- the Ganges river delta, also the exit of the sewage disposal system of the Indian subcontinent -- by Partition, not choice. Elites in Manhattan are forever mentioning poor people in Bangladesh like they had the first clue. Justice would be some of these clueless twits actually living there for a year.

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