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Bill McKibben
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Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben wrote the first book for a general audience on global warming in 1989. A scholar in residence at Middlebury College, he has written a dozen more books, and leads the organization of global climate change protests. ALL POSTS

Convincing skeptics

Q: Given the furor surrounding the pirated e-mails coming out of the University of East Anglia, what's the real takeaway lesson? Does it say more about the way renowned climate scientists work, or how climate skeptics have operated in shaping the public debate over global warming?

The impressive thing about this conspiracy is that they managed to convince the planet's glaciers, sea ice, and hydrological cycles to play along.

By Bill McKibben  |  November 24, 2009; 10:58 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg     Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Mr. McKibben,

Isn't that a pile of wood behind you in your photo? Don't you know that burning wood in a fireplace adds to local air pollution and decreases air quality? Don't you know that many communities ban the use of fireplaces? Is this an admission that you want everyone to decrease their CO2 emissions, as long as it doesn't affect your life style? How very Gore-ish of you.

Posted by: c0lnag0 | December 5, 2009 2:45 AM
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Answer me this: if meteorologists cannot predict the weather beyond ten days, why should I have the confidence that climatologists can predict it 50 years from now? Why should I believe you? You and others like you have a vested interest in catastrophic predictions. The e-mail revelations are only the latest evidence that we should be dubious--your political activism has made that clear long before this.

Posted by: vanhook99 | November 27, 2009 11:39 PM
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You read the emails before committing yourself to untrue statements. I don't need the data to prove the point, I just need Kevin Trenberth's own words -

http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1052&filename=1255523796.txt

Posted by: Ginny11 | November 25, 2009 5:26 PM
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i voted for obama but i hate these people who think they dont have to ansdwer questiosn and just pull the wool over our eyes.

the uproar over stem cell research was not ideology over science, it was an ethical decision of how much of the power science has given should be used and for what means.

THIS is ideology over science. this man McKibben and his lot are causing a crisis of confidence in science which will be looked back upon as a major event in human history.

Posted by: dummypants | November 25, 2009 5:03 PM
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The impressive thing about this conspiracy is that they managed to convince the planet's glaciers, sea ice, and hydrological cycles to play along.
*******

god, you're some kind of idiot. tthe question isnt so much about what is happening, as opposed to why its happening.

these collections of blog post are BY FAR the lamest thing i've ever seen on a major news organizations website. why give Mr. McKibben a forum and platform if all he is going to do is mislead people by pretending the issue isnt the reason behind warming, but the establishment of warming itself?

talk about defining down "panel of experts".

panel of jokers is more like it

Posted by: dummypants | November 25, 2009 4:58 PM
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As a person with NO education in the field of climate control.....I , unlike others will not profess to know the truth. I can only read data that is put in front of me,and the way I read it is......Every piece of data that shows climatic problems is answered with 20 that shows there is no problem????
I say we live as normal BUT keep the planet in mind when making decisions.

Posted by: captgrumpy | November 25, 2009 4:51 PM
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"Over the last 10 years while C02 levels are increasing, global temperatures are dropping."

How many times will you repeat this misleading statement? Are you aware that the talk radio hacks who screamed it at you were lying, or have you just never bothered to look at the data? Here it is. Global temperature is somewhat noisy, so if you cherry pick verrrry carefully, you can put your claim in a superficially accurate light. But only if your deliberate intention is to mislead.

It only goes "down" if you specifically compare 1998 (which was a noisy positive spike) to last year (which was a noisy spike down). If you pick one year earlier or later on the front OR back end, no dice! See either

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png

or

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

Posted by: B2O2 | November 25, 2009 3:48 PM
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It is amazing that Bill's comment has only attracted deniers so-far. There certainly is a correlation between greenhouse gas emissions and glaciers and sea ice. I can't say about the hydrological cycles because I have not looked at the data, nor read peer-reviewed articles by others who have. Examine the evidence yourself before you take a wholehearted stance one way or another.

Posted by: WorldCup | November 25, 2009 3:05 PM
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The real facts and actual data would suggest that the glaciers, climate and ice fields are doing fine, and were not aware that they were appropriated for a surprisingly big lie that has been busted.
Even the polar bear population continues to increase, despite clever photos and scientists who are deft and facile with Photoshop...
Have you no shame?
Copernicus, Lister and Galileo are spinning in their respective graves (unless you've been concealing "evidence" that they still walk the earth) over the way you twist the principles of scientific examination and thought to create the appearance of whole cloth fabricated from wispy imaginative deceits and lies.

Posted by: dbsinOakRidge | November 25, 2009 3:02 PM
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No, Bill, "the glaciers, sea ice, and hydrological cycles" are not playing along with the conspiracy. It is because they were not that there was a conspiracy. You should be learning something from this disclosure, instead of continuing to be a Kool Aid drinker. What will it take wake you up? Are you going to continue to mislead the public?

Posted by: ccwatson-CraigSmith | November 25, 2009 1:42 PM
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Bill-

Could Global Warming also be the cause of the recession of the hair on your head? Is it just me or has cause and effect gone out the window? Over the last 10 years while C02 levels are increasing, global temperatures are dropping. C02 levels do not correlate with rising global temperatures. Furthermore, what happened to the glaciers that covered 70% of North America? You and your cronies are frauds. Admit it and take your lumps. I am sure there is another bandwagon you can jump on.

Posted by: rebulldog | November 25, 2009 11:30 AM
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Your statements are not true & can be proven false by data you prefer to ignore!
What the heck are they teaching at Middlebury ? At one time was a good liberal art school that taught people to think & act on their own

Posted by: mct1 | November 25, 2009 10:05 AM
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As usual, the ClimateGate deniers are overtly hostile to reality. The glaciers are not cooperating Bill, they have been building up for years, the sea ice anomaly is small and not correlated with CO2 levels at all. How do I know this? CO2 is going up at a regular yearly rate, but the ice comes and goes from year to year, not caring about how much CO2 in the air. Hopefully you will be investigated and shown to be a fraud too before too long.

Posted by: stanlippmann | November 24, 2009 4:13 PM
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