AAAS “What We Know” Initiative: Same Denial, Different Issue – From Ozone Depletion to Climate Change

Dr Mario Molina  (c)  Centro Mario Molina
Dr Mario Molina
(c) Centro Mario Molina

(Cross-posted with permission from

It must be like Groundhog Day for Mario Molina, the scientist who has presided over the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s new report and publicity drive aimed at convincing Americans about the urgency of what’s happening on climate change.

The normally reticent AAAS has taken a highly unusual step. There’s no new science in it.  Instead, it summarises “what we know” on climate science, highlighting the 97% consensus on the issue and calling for action.

Why did they do it? The AAAS says it’s becoming alarmed at the American public’s views on climate change, stating in the opening paragraphs:

 “Surveys show that many Americans think climate change is still a topic of significant scientific disagreement.  Thus, it is important and increasingly urgent for the public to know there is now a high degree of agreement among climate scientists that human-caused climate change is real.”

They’re right:  the latest Gallup Poll published this month shows that climate change is low on Americans’ priority list, with 51% saying they worry about climate change very little – or not at all.   And 42% said they believe the seriousness of the issue was “generally exaggerated.”

Here’s one of their videos:

The AAAS report also stated:

“It is not the purpose of this paper to explain why this disconnect between scientific knowledge and public perception has occurred.”

That’s not their job.  But I bet they’d like to. Especially Mario Molina.

The reason for that American disconnect between scientific and public views on global warming is simple:  it’s the result of a 20-year campaign funded by the fossil fuel industry that profits from the very products causing it – oil, coal and gas.   It’s got nothing to do with science per se.

A brief history of that campaign is outlined in a report I wrote last year: “Dealing in Doubt” that catalogues the attacks on climate science, the IPCC and on the scientists themselves.

But what’s that got to do with Mario Molina?  Molina, now 70, was one of the researchers who discovered the chemistry around ozone depletion. He and two other scientists received the 1995 Nobel Prize for chemistry for their work.   20 years ago, he faced a remarkably similar campaign to what the climate scientists face today.

In 1992, Molina was at a gathering of scientists in Brazil, ahead of the Rio Earth Summit, and about to present a 30-minute talk on ozone depletion.  He was dumbfounded when the presenter before him told the assembled scientists that the ozone depletion theory was a sham. He later told the AAAS’s Science magazine(full text here):

“Given enough time I could have carefully rebutted his objections.  They sounded reasonable but they were only pseudoscientific.”

At the time, in the face of increasing scientific certainty, there was a (successful) push to strengthen the Montreal Protocol, to further regulate CFCs to stop ozone depletion.  The fight was on.

The Science article went on to outline how talk show host Rush Limbaugh was leading the charge against the ozone science, labeling the issue a “massive conspiracy” promulgated by “dunderhead alarmists and prophets of doom.”

Limbaugh claimed the only reason scientists were working on ozone depletion was because “they always want more funding, and today that means government funding.  What could be more natural than for [NASA], with the space program winding down, to say that because we have this unusual amount of chlorine in the atmosphere, we need funding.”

This is one of the main mantras of the climate science deniers today – they’re only in it for the funding.  They also get labeled “alarmists” and “doomsayers” amongst other things.  Same arguments, different subject.

Enter S Fred Singer, a serial denier who cut his teeth on tobacco science, before moving on to ozone depletion and global warming.  In a 1995 article, he said this on ozone depletion:

“The facts are that the scientific underpinnings are quite shaky: the data are suspect; the statistical analyses are faulty; and the theory has not been validated… The science simply does not support this premature and abrupt removal of widely used chemicals—at great cost to the economy.”

It’s telling that one of Singer’s early articles, “My adventures on the ozone layer,” can be found today on the Heartland Institute website.  This is the same Heartland Institute that last year employed Singer to help work on its “NIPCC” report, designed to confuse a casual observer with the similarity to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) while using debunked arguments to suggest there isn’t a problem – which couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In 1996, Singer told a House Committee there was no scientific consensus on ozone depletion. He went on to use the high-cost argument, and brought in a new theme that is very much prevalent in today’s anti climate arguments: that it would hurt the developing world.

“We are flying blind on this issue, at a huge cost to the U.S. economy and ultimately to every American household. In less developed countries, absence of low-cost refrigeration–for food preservation and vaccines–could, unfortunately, exact an even higher price in human lives.”

Two years later, Singer was even advocating putting mirrors in the sky to stop ozone depletion. That article can be found on another think tank website, theCompetitive Enterprise Institute.  The CEI set up the Cooler Heads Coalition. But its extensive ExxonMobil funding was dropped in 2007 because the company said their campaign “diverted attention” from a real conversation about how to tackle climate change.

Meanwhile, over at the Marshall Institute, Fred Seitz and Sallie Baliunas had also picked up the cause, with Baliunas arguing that it was the sun and other natural factors causing the problem:

“Scientific findings do not support an immediate ban on CFC’s. Both global and Arctic measurements point to natural factors as the main cause of recent ozone fluctuations. Ozone levels change primarily as the result of natural factors such as the ultraviolet output of the sun, oscillation of upper stratosphere winds and El Nino conditions.”

Sunspots is one of the main denialist arguments used against global warming today, notably by Baliunas’s colleague, Willie Soon.  A later Marshall Institute report about global warming, ozone depletion and tobacco science was picked up and pushed by Phillip Morris.

No consensus, science unsettled, the sun, El Nino, in it for the funding, doomsayers, solutions will hurt the poor, natural variations:  all these arguments are run today around global warming science by, amongst others, the Heartland Institute, the CEI, the Marshall Institute, S Fred Singer, Baliunas, Limbaugh and others.

The late Steve Schneider described the problem as being “caught between the exaggerations of the advocates, the exploitations of political interests, the media’s penchant to turn everything into a boxing match and your own colleagues saying we should be above this dirty business and stick to the bench.”

The AAAS appears to have gotten off of that bench, not least because they’re worried about Americans sleepwalking into climate chaos, cheered on by industry.

But the bottom line, as the AAAS has stated in no uncertain terms, is this:  “human-caused climate change is happening, we face risks of abrupt, unpredictable and potentially irreversible changes, and responding now will lower the risk and cost of taking action.”

Perhaps our elected leaders might also like to spend some time reading it.

91 thoughts on “AAAS “What We Know” Initiative: Same Denial, Different Issue – From Ozone Depletion to Climate Change”

  1. I have posted before that you don’t have to be on the internet long to realise that something is very wrong. I believe that there are only 50 to 100 journalists with multiple identities who flood the climate web sites with the trite stereotype arguments outlined in the article. There is no point arguing with them because they are not interested in facts only on destroying discussion. We have had a few on Hot Topic but it is in sites like the Gaurdian that it is most obvious. It is a sad reflection on the American intelligence and character that these people portray the whole nation as a bunch of ignorant rednecks and you have to have faith that they are not..

            you call this peer reviewed? load of tripe.
            In the 1970’s I lost a cousin (non-smoker) aged 26 (lung cancer) and an uncle (heart disease) 56 and heavy smoker, an aunt (non-smoker) 55 (breast cancer) and a grandmother (non-smoker)(liver cancer). The house where they lived reeked of smoke and 3 were “non smokers” . Now how does Singer ‘s “statistics” explain that?
            The man sold his soul 30 odd years ago. From a scientific view point he has lost all credibility that he ever had. The video is little more than the ranting of a sad old man cheered on by admiring nincompoops.

            1. So you watched the video? Any comments on the ruminant methane issue?

              As for your relatives, I am sorry to hear that,

              However, as gets repeatedly pointed out to me, the plural of anecdote is not data

            2. Quote from the article:
              ‘ The only category of exposure that showed a trend toward increased risk was living in the same house with a smoker for 30 years or more.’ And many people in the past did..
              As smoking is not so prevalent these days and smokers have been encouraged to take their habit outside, there is now much less exposure to second hand smoke than in the past. So the recent findings do not portray what was happening 30 years ago except in the case where we have persistent smokers in the household.
              Clearly second hand smoking does cause lung cancer.

            3. Macro- “Clearly second hand smoking does cause lung cancer.”

              Title of article – “No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer”


            4. I’ll repeat it for you shall I?
              “The only category of exposure that showed a trend toward increased risk was living in the same house with a smoker for 30 years or more.”
              So if there is an increased risk of living with a smoker, how can the paper, then conclude No link?? Isn’t that somewhat contradictory? Or were the researchers trying to get noticed. Smoking laws have been in place now for some years (30+ years in some jurisdictions). Unless one lives in a home where someone smokes, one doesn’t come into contact with second hand smoke anymore with any great frequency, if at all. To me the research is simply evidence that the smoking laws are working. Small amounts of exposure to second hand smoke are not damaging, but repeat exposure – as the study finds – is.

            5. You know, I keep forgetting that one paper containing conclusions you find agreeable is all it takes.

              Hey, andy, why don’t you wander over to Watts’ place, and take up your lament on the outrageous violation of the rights of smokers there?

              And re CFCs – here’s your chance; turns out CFCs are on the rise again in the last 2 years, despite the protocol; hang any sense of common decency or rudimentary caution – go in to bat for them! There’s bound to be a ‘paper’ somewhere – say from one of your respected ‘publishers’, like E&E, Watts’, or American Thinker – that’ll back you…

            6. CFCs may be on the rise because the Chinese are manufacturing them in order to gain carbon credits under what is known as the HFC-23 scam.

              I’m sure even the most hardened environmentalist might agree that this isn’t a great thing.

              By the way, I am not supporting smokers rights. You seem to have missed the point here

            7. like E&E, Watts’, or American Thinker

              or the Journal for Cancer Research (Oxford University Press)

            8. Wow, please link to any of their papers on the impact of these new CFCs or HCFCs on the ozone layer. Thanks in anticipation.

              Oh, by the way, genius, HFCs and CFCs are the same thing, you’d say? 😉

              And you know what ‘one’ means, right? It means ‘not many’.

        1. Well, no, I won’t, because I won’t be watching it. Fortunately, and familiarly, the real world and, um, science, don’t believe you.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you can tell a lot about a movement by noting the people it raises to prominence.

          And now you’re a mouthpiece for The Smoking Lobby? Does your attention-seeking know any limits?

          (Actually, andy, a lot of your behaviour rather reminds me of the old joke about the grizzly bear and the repeatedly unsuccessful – and, um, chastised – redneck hunter, which ends with the bear stretching a mighty arm and paw around his shoulder, and saying, not unkindly, “Come on now, admit it; you’re not here for the hunting, are you?”)

          1. The video is quite interesting (from a technical perspective). About 30 mins in Singer makes the point that more damage is done to stratospheric ozone by ruminant methane than by CFCs.

            However, since you won’t watch then you won’t find out.

            Maybe Joe Romm will post exactly the same information and you will pay attention. I can understand how much you despise Singer, as much as you despise the Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore for his stance on various things.

            IncidentallyI am not being a mouthpiece for the smoking lobby by pointing out that there is peer-reviewed material that backs the claim the second hand smoking has no statistical link to cancer. I know how shocking this is.

            Presumably the authors of this paper will be smeared by the lemon-lipped “you can’t say that” brigade.

            1. “as much as you despise the Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore for his stance on various things.

              “Patrick Moore frequently portrays himself as a founder or co-founder of Greenpeace, and many news outlets have repeated this characterization. Although Mr. Moore played a significant role in Greenpeace Canada for several years, he did not found Greenpeace. Phil Cotes, Irving Stowe, and Jim Bohlen founded Greenpeace in 1970. Patrick Moore applied for a berth on the Phyllis Cormack in March, 1971 after the organization had already been in existence for a year. A copy of his application letter and Greenpeace’s response are available here (PDF). [Greenpeace, 12/7/10]”


              “Moore Has Been An Industry Spokesman For Over 20 Years. Patrick Moore founded Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in 1991, a communications strategy firm that promotes energy-intensive industries including “mining, energy, forestry, aquaculture, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing,” and supports “environmentally sound oil extraction, like is being done in the Canadian oil sands.” Moore has worked as a spokesman for many different nuclear energy companies, as reported by Media Matters:”

            2. Thanks, Mr Smith for taking time to step,out of the Matrix to explain to is the nature of Dr Moore s relationship with Greenpeace

              Unfortunately the wayback machine has other information.

              You need to erase this Mr Smith

            3. Actually your “discovery” on the waybackwhen machine doesn’t clarify anything Andy. It says “founders and first members” and then lists Patrick Moore as one of those two. And, as Mr Smith points out, there’s the small question of him applying for membership. Which one wouldn’t do if one was a founder.
              But unlike most of those people, Moore went to the dark side, started getting serious money from industry and started spouting any old thing they wanted him to. And all of this was about 20 years ago anyway, so not sure what its relevance is to the AAAS report and the fact that the deniers used the same arguments against ozone depletion as they do against global warming science.

            4. Cindy, I think you should defer to andyS on this one, he has after all told us several times that he has Moore’s book and may even have read it.

            5. No indeed Cindy, but Moore and others that claim Moore was a CoFounder are often referred to as “liars”, which suggests that lies are very subjective, when Greenpeace made the same claim themselves before he was disappeared.

            6. somehow I can’t seem to reply below the comment I want to reply to, but @beaker and @Andy I don’t really care whose book anybody has read or what fairytales Moore has made up. Remember who pays him.

              And here is a copy of Moore’s application to the Don’t Make A Wave Committee trying to get onto the Greenpeace ship to protest the nuclear tests at Amchitka.

          2. Fred is an expert at many things. In the time I’ve been watching him, he’s been quoted as an expert scientist on the following issues:
            * second hand smoke
            * ozone depletion
            * nuclear power
            * toxic waste
            * acid rain
            * endocrine disrupters
            * skin cancer
            * whales
            and global warming.

            That’s quite a stable of expertise.

            What i do despise are hired guns. Hired by the very industries that produce the things destroying the environment in the first place. Fred is one such person. He was suddenly all pro-nukes at COP4 because the nuclear industry had paid for him to go there. His organisation was founded by money from the tobacco industry. Etc. As with Patrick Moore. .

            1. Singer is an atmospheric physicist, so presumably he might lay some claim to expertise on things that happen in the stratosphere.

              Maybe, I know it’s a long shot

            2. No andyS , Tim Ball is the only one with a geography degree and claims to be a climate scientist. Oooops Judith Curry falls into the same category. During my education, geography was considered a “social” science programme and not a physical science programme.

            3. I’m reminded of the old joke about what constitutes an expert.

              “x” is the unknown quantity, and a “spurt” is a drip under pressure.

              Just about sums him up really.

            4. I don’t know about Singers views on asbestos and radon. However, there are some big issues around the asbestos claims too, particularly with respect to the nature and type of asbestos that people get exposed too.

              No doubt this will also be met with horror and indignation, so I’m not sure there is much point in pursuing that line.

              My main issue is that the anti singer industry is maybe not quite as robust as people make out.

            5. I’m right behind the anti-singer industry in respect of some of the worst cases viz Barbara Streisand and Adele.


              These people should be stopped!

          3. Andy, that would be HFC’s.
            Hydrofluorocarbons. Not CFC’s, which are chlorofluorocarbons. China got the carbon credits for destroying them (they’re created when making HCFC22 – or hydrochlorofluorocarbons). But that loophole was closed May 1 2013, crashing that bit of the carbon market. Which was a good thing.

            1. Andy

              No, the Montreal Protocol deals with ozone depleting substances (ODS). HFC’s don’t (no chlorine). But their global warming potential is thousands that of C02, and they’re under the Kyoto “basket” of 6 gases.
              They’re replacements for HCFC’s, invented to replace CFC’s. But because developing countries are still phasing out HCFC’s, they’re still manufacturing them, producing HFC’s in the process, and getting carbon credits for them.

              Of course there’s a virtually benign replacement, but the chemical industry can’t make any money from it. Bizarrely, it’s C02.

              it’s all a bit insane.

  2. What a show our resident straw head (straw stuffed golliwog) has been giving us…! Second hand smoking, Ozone and AGW. Yea Andy, go on, you are a true Singerite. Heil the right wing libertarian philosophy. There is nothing that a free business could do to wreck the planet! And if it did, good on the free enterprise, because better dead from the detritus of a free libertarian cowboy economy than giving a fraction of an inch to those liberal science infested (there is no truth more important than what the right wing loogerhead brain knows it to be!!!) green left loonies who want tax funding and all tax is a concept of the weak left loony…..;-)

    Andy, time to up another blog tree man. This is just to much stereotype “American Dumber” type garbage you dish up. Wonder how long you last here this time….

  3. ” “Surveys show that many Americans think climate change is still a topic of significant scientific disagreement.”

    Well I’ll be darned! Americans eh?

    Yeah right ; it’s not just Americans and it’s not just the Joe Six-packs.
    There are many questions that are being posited , and they are nearly all critical to the degree of “certainty” that catastrophists display.
    The American Physical Society has some very interesting questions on the table:-

    1. Ah, Bio, you really, really need to learn to not get your information from wing-nuts.

      Here’s a link to the actual the APS website. (I know going to primary sources is considered a form of cheating in your camp, but you’ll need to get over it!) Please find us something that in any way matches the following:

      What the outcome will be, ie what the revised APS statement will say, we will eventually discover. It seems a good bet that the APS will break ranks with the world’s collection of peak science bodies, including the Australian Academy of Science, and tell the public, softly or boldly, that IPCC science is not all it’s cracked up to be.

      Or any of the similar crap spouted by, say, your movement hero, James ‘There Just Aren’t Enough Bullets’ Delingpole.


        1. Bio Fail! Oh no, Bio, you raised it, you report back. By which we mean what they actually say, not what some wingnut from Quadrant opines.

          I mean, how pathetic is ‘it seems a good bet’? Is this really what you console yourself with?

          1. No problem; I’ll be glad to do that.
            But I see that you’ve already staked out your position before the committee has even produced a draft.
            Why am I not surprised?
            Because you already have the answers to all of those questions?

            Yeah right!

            1. @@

              here Bio

              In case you weren’t able to follows bills link

              Here is the APS current position on Climate Change.
              With the Royal Society and its American equivalent recently publishing strong Reports on AGW and urging Policy makers to action I hardly think the APS is about to back pedal! Rather it is more likely that they will issue an even more emphatic statement.

            2. Dear me; now in addition to pointing out where anyone at the actual APS sounded quite like your little source from sad old Quadrant, you can explain where I’d ‘staked out my position in advance’.

              My position, for the comprehension challenged – and that’s you, Bio, just to be clear – is that your source stakes all on a plaintive wish ( ‘it seems a good bet’ ) and his absurd conviction that what he hopes to be true about the great-big-Warmist-conspiracy-thing must turn out to be true.

              Hopes you doubtlessly share, and hopes that apparently make you unable to comprehend a simple collection of English sentences.

              I sent you to the bloody APS website, and asked you to tell us what it actually said, for God’s sake!

              Have you always been this bad at basic logic? This certainly explains you alliance with Denial…

            3. Fair enough. You and Macro both seem to think that the APS position is set in concrete, or that it should be.
              No surprises there.

              I’ll let you know when it changes. :-)

            4. Your faith in the ” settled science” is touching Bill, but like all religious faith it is , in essence, no better than superstition.
              Heretics believe that any science is subject to revision in the light of new knowledge.
              But you won’t be having a bar of that.

              We, here at Hot Topic , know all there is to know about climate!
              Yeah right!

            5. ‘Religion’!? ‘Superstition’!? This from a guy whose cognitive biases are so leaden he cannot even decode a simple collection of sentences without the gravity of his faith hopelessly distorting his comprehension?!

              Is that really the best you can do?

              That’s the 120,000+ member American Association for the Advancement of Science – ‘the world’s largest and most prestigious general scientific society’ – speaking, clown. You know; the people that publish Science? Get it?

              While you’re holding out that if the 50,000 member American Physical Society declares something (unphysical!) then we’ll all immediately have to drop everything and believe it, despite this position being in an overwhelming minority in the scientific community?

              Why? Because you want it to be true, so therefore it’s just true!

              Can you stupid, stupid people see yourselves from the outside at all?

            6. “Can you stupid, stupid people see yourselves from the outside at all?”

              Look in the mirror Bill.

            7. Bio, face it: I’m at one end of the Dunning-Kruger scale; you’re at the other. But, ironically, you’ll automatically get the ends reversed, too!…

            8. Bill it’s apparent that you’re projecting a great deal of your belief about “deniers” onto anyone who doesn’t share your faith.
              I find your utterances entertaining, and obviously you are hanging off my every word.
              So that’s all good.
              In the meantime the whole question of CAGW /DACCis slowly slipping out of the public consciousness as the promised catastrophic scenarios fail to materialise.
              That is to be expected after so much media hype.
              The only positive from it all is an increasing understanding of climate! Which may be of academic interest only , if we are not in a position to alter it.
              But like I said at the outset, there’s nothing wrong with being prepared.
              The only difference is that the true believers here insist that it is impossible to be adequately prepared.
              We’ll see.

            9. In the meantime the whole question of CAGW /DACC is slowly slipping out of the public consciousness as the promised catastrophic scenarios fail to materialise.

              Has to be rated the “MOST IDIOTIC” quote of the day.
              Just in case you have forgotten Bio here is a review of 2013,
              Read and weep – no media hype – just plain human suffering. And all because of stupid people like you who cannot get their head around some basically simple science; and who, because of their ignorance, and complacency, allow govt’s around the world to remain inactive on dealing with the problem

            10. Sunshine, try reading through the above exchange objectively – yes, even at your advanced age you may hope to have a new experience – and then see if you can determine which of us is the hapless blowhard drongo who does not have a clue. Hint: it’s you.

              And, yet again; as soon as all your putative apathetic insouciant pollyannas vote in new laws of physics, we’ll be set. Other than that you’re all just compounding the Stupid.

            11. Yep it’s tough being the only one who is right Bill, but bear up – think of how John the Baptist must have felt . . . the voice crying in the wilderness.
              Or poor old Moses, casting his pearls before swine.

              Best you circle the wagons, adopt a laager mentality, and try and sit it out. something will turn up . . . Godot can’t be far away by now.

              I see that Macro has no illusions about the low priority that world governments are assigning to your hobby-horse, but really you’ve only got yourselves to blame for your predicament.

            12. bill;

              bio is beyond help. His misunderstanding of basic science principles is incredible. His faith in his own perceptions unshakeable; and his belief in “Natural” cycles more fervent than many fundamentalist religious fanatics. Indeed fervent fundamentalists from whatever religious persuasion are essentially beyond reason.

              So I think it is better to leave him be. It only deepens his conviction in his “superior understanding” to give him the courtesy of a reply pointing out his misunderstanding of the science, and pointing to all the evidence that is constantly being recorded that supports the science.
              He chooses to ignore all evidence, yet thinks he is in touch with the earth, relying solely on the small world around him. Closeted in his ignorance he remains comfortable and complacent, ignoring all the signs that are there for anyone with eyes to see, and ears to hear.

              Perhaps the thing I find the most distressing is his perception that anyone who understands the science bases their knowledge on faith! As a past science educator at tertiary level, and with a degree in the philosophy of science and the theory of knowledge I find his accusations extremely offensive. Be that as it may, I shall not be responding to his idiotic comments any further, thereby giving him more attention.

            13. That’s a smart move Macro.
              The die is cast ; there will be no concerted world effort to control climate.
              Best to accept that fact and get on with the job, whatever you see that to be.
              Or just give up completely and do nothing.
              You have a choice.

            14. And, in fact, bio, apart from being as self-satisfied and tedious an old boor (and bore!) as it’s possible to be, you cannot even get your handwaving claims about ‘what everybody thinks’ right.

              All the delays foisted on us by The Stupid mean that one day this issue really will have to be dealt with as a war. In which you, and your rag-tag fellow-travellers, bloviating reactionaries and corporate anarchists alike, will be – correctly – perceived as 5th columnists. You might want to think about that.

            15. @Macro

              Perhaps the thing I find the most distressing is his perception that anyone who understands the science bases their knowledge on faith!

              A strategy straight out of the creationist playbook – these are, after all, the creationists of the 21st Century – and another instance of the bizarre adoption of an obtuse species of post-Modernism by the Right…

            16. Bill I think that you may have posted the wrong link , or was that simply the best one you could find?
              Anyway , there was not a single reference there to atmospheric CO2 of anthropogenic origin.
              Lots of talk of climate change though.

              Funny , that !

  4. People like Singer and Lindzen are hired guns that would argue the world is flat. They are professional contrarians that argue against anything. That doesn’t make them right. Or the papers they quote right and they usually support some paper that goes against the majority of other papers.

    Research into second hand smoke finds a weak correlation, exactly as you would expect. Nobody argues second hand smoke is a powerful, lethal carcinogen, only that it may increase risk some degree.

    The one thing science understands about cancer is its dose dependent, and there is no point where you can define a safe dose. Therefore it’s probably true any level of second hand smoke increases your risk, but low levels would equate to low risk.

    Now no doubt Singer would say there might be some safe level. But this comes back to the point he is just a contrarian. He has added nothing to actually find what the risks are!

    The weight of evidence certainly suggests there is some risk from second hand smoke. Singer has not countered this argument.

  5. Andy: Yes that particular HFC is produced as a by-product of HCFC production. Unfortunately the tail end of the Montreal Protocol means that developing countries are allowed to continue producing HCFCs for a while yet.

    The US and China are now saying they’ll reduce GHG’s by working on HFC’s through the Montreal Protocol. But the MP has yet to agree to do this, in my understanding. And possibly unlikely to.

    1. Bob, note that the somewhat alarmist study cited in that Guardian article that argues that society will collapse by 2030 has not been endorsed by NASA, despite the media stating that it is a “NASA backed study”

      See here:

      There are lots of people of all political persuasions arguing that society is close to collapse, whether it be environmental, monetary debt, over-population, under-population, a transition to an Islamic caliphate etc.

      I’m sure they all have some valid points, but one shouldn’t always take them at face value

  6. Here is an excellent article published by the Union of Concerned Scientists on how large corporations have for many, many years corrupted science for their own benefit and to the detriment of the average citizen:

    Key quote from the article:

    In a now-infamous memorandum, a tobacco executive wrote in 1969 that “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public”
    (Brown & Williamson 1969).

  7. The oil and coal companies spend millions of dollars with universities on research and they employ thousands of scientists. Climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels and it is a threat to their business If burning fossil fuels did not produce CO2 and warmed the planet they have the money and the expertise to prove it. If they are able to pay an ex Greeenpeace man to stand up and lie, what does that prove. We are well down the road to serious problems and the longer we argue the worse it will be.

      1. No. Not oil companies, but the nuclear industry – the Nuclear Energy Institute.

        “In 2006, aiming to promote a “nuclear renaissance,” the NEI enlisted public-relations giant Hill & Knowlton, which, back in Atoms for Peace days, commanded Big Tobacco’s siege on the science linking smoking to cancer. Hill & Knowlton in turn hired Moore and former Environmental Protection Agency chief Christine Todd Whitman as its public front. On April 24, 2006, two days before the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl meltdown, it launched the Clean and Safe Energy (CASEnergy) Coalition to spread the nuclear gospel, with Moore and Whitman at the helm.”

        1. Well I guess being a nuclear energy advocate is a little bit different to being “paid to lie by oil companies”

          Nuclear energy is obviously a contentious topic but there are many environmentalists who are in favour. (Lynas and Monbiot?)

          The Chinese are now on an aggressive 10 year R&D programme to commercialise Thorium energy

          See here, for example

  8. Bob there is no longer an argument. There seems to be almost universal recognition that the “deniers” won.
    We could argue forever about why they won, but what would be the point?
    We all have better things to do, don’t we?

    1. I’m still looking for evidence that Patrick Moore is paid by Oil Companies to “lie”.

      The chapter in his book on climate change is relatively short. The main beef with Greenpeace seemed to be their stance on banning Chlorine

      Other than that, he has some worthwhile opinions on aquaculture, forestry and geothermal heat pumps

    2. “Bob there is no longer an argument. There seems to be almost universal recognition that the “deniers” won….

      Laughing out loud! Where did you get this nonsense from?
      Define “winning”? Ha! Do you think deniers denying AGW cause a change to the physics of our climate system? What is your point man? What “win” are you actually hoping for? That somehow societies will to tackle AGW is destroyed so that… hmmm… we are going to fry the planet, acidify the oceans and wreck the place for the next x million years to come? Is that what you denier chum would hope for? You must be kidding you Bio something… ! Take that Bio spiel of your name, you really should. Its a misnomer at best.

      About winning the (political) argument: I would recommend you to look up the speech of the President of the USA on the matter of climate change and read it. Actually do.
      You and your denier comps are the “flat earthers” the president eloquently refers to. The rest of the speech is not really looking like the flat earth society has a case let alone a win… poor you!

      And on the side of the “facts” – you know actual scientific data – you and your “winners” are the biggest losers. You have no theory and no data to back up your case. You are limited to a few contrarian shills and paid nutters with funding from right wing political circles and polluting industries. You have zero leg to stand on when it comes to what matters most: the truth behind this whole argument.
      But you are blind about all this. The Dunning Kruger effect has you spell bound. Good luck!

  9. The sole reason Moore was called to testify before the Republican dominated committee in congress is that he is a so called environmentalist who works for big companies who have a bad environmental record and they pay him to do a report that puts them in a good light. in this case he said there was no proof the humans are causing global warming,which the Republicans love but is a complete distortion.
    Is distortion the same as lying? in sound bites Yes.

    1. So by the very definition you use, Bob, you are lying.

      There is no evidence whatsoever that Oil Companies are paying Moore to “lie”, yet you continue to promulgate this myth

      [snipped due to generally abusive tone – CB]

      1. Really Cindy?
        An abusive tone?
        Bill , for one , would never do such a thing, would he?
        Neither would Macro.
        And Thomas is always the epitome of politeness :-)
        Good grief!

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